The Yarns We Had is a collection of stories that were handed down to Cyril W. Greenham by his father, Wilbur Greenham, and grandfather, Andrew (Chum) Greenham. Both men were fishermen and seagoing captains from Notre Dame Bay, and in this collection, they relate the wit and humour of outport Newfoundlanders in the early to mid-twentieth century.
On the surface, these oral histories are the lighthearted reminiscences of the fun and mischief these rough-and-ready men and their friends got into after their work was done. Tall tales of moonshine makers dodging the law, devilish pranksters aboard fishing vessels, raucous rows and bawdy misbehaviour in a religious-minded community – this book has it all.
However, underneath the comedy, these stories are a reminder of a time when life was difficult and the average family didn’t know is they would survive from one year to the next. People worked hard and had very little money, but despite this, they maintained a sense of humour that, to this day, makes Newfoundland and Labrador one of the most hospitable places in the world.