Dad in The Big Land

These days, few of us experience the old-fashioned pleasure of receiving a letter by standard mail. So imagine my joy to find, tucked inside a Christmas card from my aunt in the U.S., a handwritten note, along with a handful of photos sent to her from my father.


She writes:

“Dear Jennifer – A note to enclose with these snapshots sent to me many years ago. They are precious to me, but belong in your heart and your home. It was a great adventure that Ralph shared with me over the phone lines. – Lovingly, Irene.”

Discussing this with my aunt recently, she was unable to nail down the year they were taken, but she believes Dad made the trip to Labrador in the mid to late fifties. That would make him, at the youngest, twenty-one, and still single.

An added bonus: his familiar handwriting scrawled on the back of each snapshot. 

I have captioned each one with his words.

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On Gander Runway

A closer look:
I love his outfit. Lots of layers, warm boots, yet he is wearing a jacket, shirt and tie, and his hair is perfect.

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Our plane at Gander before takeoff 4:30 pm

This begs more questions: why did he fly out of Gander and not St. John’s? Who was he with and who took the pictures? Why did he make this trip to Labrador? Unfortunately, we are fuzzy on all the details.

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Crossing the bays to Hopedale
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Deserted shack and our dog-sled at Big Bay between Hopedale and Davis Inlet.
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At Makkovik with “husky” pups.

 No surprise to me at all that Dad would love the little animals!



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  If only he and I could sit down and have a chat together about his adventure in “The Big Land.” In any case, I cannot put into words how good it feels to see my father’s young face again. 

Have you ever gotten mail that made your day?

Is there someone you love and miss with all your heart?

Further Reading: Labrador, the distinct, northerly region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador