The Campbell River Museum is one of my favourite museums, I have only visited about 3 museums in BC so it could yet be usurped! Plus it has some competition from The Museum of Country Life in Mayo (some of the exhibit contents are found without leaving my ma’s house) and the pinball machine museum in San Fran.
On the trail of Relief Camps during the 1930′s I harked on this on Campbell River Museum blog:
the “dirty thirties” resulted in vast numbers of homeless and unemployed and the FDP camps included accommodation and meals as well as work. One such camp (FDP Camp 5) was located at Elk Falls Park.
Elk Falls is a favoured spot by firstly my males who make annual pilgrimages there and latterly me who jumped on the bandwagon once and had a mighty time.
I’m particularly intrigued by the publishing of newsletters associated with the Forestry/Relief Camps during this time. Even today there continue to be newsletters published by various history societies such as Forestry and so on. They might be one of the few print venues that enthusiastically solicit anecdotes and stories from their readers. There’s a great appetite in them for Got a story — We want to hear it. A contrast to these official writerly outlets where we seem to spend far too much time being told why we don’t have a story. Or rather why the person reading it has decided it isn’t a story within their limited framework.
On an interrelated note (a minum over a quaver) why hasn’t the fragment taken off in non fiction the way we have embraced it in blogging. I grow somewhat weary of the essay form at times. Especially when conceiving of generating it. It can become intoxicated by itself, we know where the walls are when we’re reading it and the writing often assures us, as we read, that this is how things should be written. A kind of “There will be a front door and a back door and four walls in this house so help me God.” I don’t find it ungratifying, I just fancy an element of surprise. Some indication of the “paragraphic” (yep made that up) nature of thinking. And the way the mind likes to dart and associate. Rather than competently sprawl because, because we (holy grail of writing) said it must.
A concentrated afternoon in a large, quiet room with only two old fellas reading ancient newspapers. I read and read and read. I spent the time with a 64 page pamphlet publication called Vancouver through the eyes of a Hobo by Victor Forster published in 1934. It’s a one man polemic on what he observed and decided. A talk back to the city he wanders about in. The pamphlet is raw, flamboyant in its lyricism and is suffused with the writer’s racism toward the Chinese (referred to as the singular “China man”), and his perception that working women were a threat to the working man. What’s curious is how these two groups of people specifically are set against the working man, the working husband. We continue to see immigrants scapegoated for economic difficulties (particularly notable in current US senate election).
Another portrait emerges from this pamphlet of Vancouver as a city of vice and gambling and this man’s belief that the police were entirely in cahoots with it, that it was happening under their nose and so on. Another contemporary theme: the distrust of the police force.
There’s a section in it called The Racing House which offers a portrait of a house where people gathered to wager on races. The caller out would connect by telephone and repeat the narration of the race taking place to those in the room. The portrait makes compelling reading.
I found a fascinating book called Depression Stories published by New Star (1976?) by Sydney Hucheson (sp?).
I am revved on the 1930′s and may be moving on from the 1970′s !
Tom Raworth should be bottled and drunk three times a day.
Yesterday he read in Vancouver.
I told my almost 11 year old it doesn’t get any better.
I hope he believed me.
My favourite moment: the said 11 year old’s laughter.
Young laughter has its own timbre.
Tom has his.
Raworth’s poems are like a roledex on acid. Remind me of the old British Rail train the 125mph. The station in three dots. Bump. Bump. Bump.
Tom’s figured out what’s enough for the listener
and that nothing’s too much for the reader.
I like this.
I just popped over to drop something off to a friend and discovered we were listening to the identical blues song on the radio. She declared herself mesmerized by it and quoted the lyric and I’d just left it on the radio. We now have to discern which song it is. CBC radio has this marvellous Blues program on Sat night called Saturday Night Blues — who’d leave the house? Wow. You can even call the Blues line…
“High drape pants, stripes are really yellow”
The BBC weather forecast has begun colour coding the clouds. I like this specificity! The forecast for London for the next three days reads: day 1 light rain, day 2, white cloud, day 3 grey cloud.
I have just checked and Vancouver is due to have Grey Cloud next Weds according to the BBC forecast. Be sure to look out for it now….
The Duck Lake Gossiper (1938) was a newsletter (5 cents) published and printed by the unemployed at the Duck Lake Forestry Camp, Powell River BC.
KEEP THE CAMPS OPEN
Doctor, Doctor, save the day,
They’re taking my B.C. apples away. ”
(Source Powell River Museum archive & Rusty Nails & Ration Books. Barbara Ann Lambert Trafford Publishing)
Penguins do not sleep ever. They nap. There’s a piece in the latest NYRB about a book The Great Penguin Rescue that describes a penguin rescue from an oil spill in South Africa. In one paragraph the aquarist, Dyan diNapoli who wrote the book describes arriving and seeing all the penguins ripped from their mates and shoved into random pens in an enormous warehouse, “serving as an improvised penguin rescue centre.” I think there were 16,000 penguins. My first thought on reading this description concerned the napping arrangement. If there are 16,000 of you in pens and none of you sleep — how can you possible negotiate napping? We struggle to reach consensus on two couches.
I shall read and report.
I am completely down with the penguins. Keep it Penguin.
“eggs in literature.”
One of the most popular search terms to reach this blog. I’m honoured, eggs are pretty remarkable.
I just ate one. A high achievement man can attain is the cooking of a good egg, at the right moment. Second only to the cup of tea and that aforementioned perfecto palate cuppa. You know it when you drink it.
I had been so looking forward to an outing to watch Shadow Machine at W2, but my stomach had other plans and misbehaved.
Earlier today I was reading more on kleptotherming and the Admiral penguins huddling procedures and wonder how this might be adaptable to a short legged, frozen woman in a supposedly temperate climate. Penguins have a nifty “wings out” approach where they lift their wings out as a deflection against the cold. They puff their feathers to trap air. I think the common armpit may mimic this action and shall experiment. They also have bald patches that are less impressive. They have excellent blood flow control to their feet.
OK so that previous attempt to warm up did not work, however this complete headbanger in the Green shirt x 2 with his arm flailing has raised my temp 1 degree…
Shocking! I overlooked another single mention of the word Woman. Brace yourself … under the FAMILY section.
2. 1° In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.
2° The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.
I just had a read of Bunreacht Na hEireann — amazing what you’ll succumb to in someone else’s house when you can’t figure out how to turn on the telly.
There are two mentions of women in it, both under article 45. Directive Principles of Social Policy.
Here they are:
2. The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards
That the citizens (all of whom, men and women
equally, have the right to an adequate means of
livelihood) may through their occupations find the
means of making reasonable provision for their
Article 45. 4.
2° The State shall endeavour to ensure that the
strength and health of workers, men and women, and
the tender age of children shall not be abused and that
citizens shall not be forced by economic necessity to
enter avocations unsuited to their sex, age or strength.
It is probably worth noting that just about every aspect of Article 45 top to bottom has been contravened under the current state of affairs and NAMA-rating.
Note loudly via a trumpet outside Dail Eireann. Article 45. 2. (three parts)
That the ownership and control of the material
resources of the community may be so distributed
amongst private individuals and the various
classes as best to subserve the common good.
That, especially, the operation of free competition
shall not be allowed so to develop as to result in
the concentration of the ownership or control of
essential commodities in a few individuals to the
That in what pertains to the control of credit the
constant and predominant aim shall be the
welfare of the people as a whole.
Google, wonderfully, has spelt the title wrong … as Bunreacht Na hIreann.
Another fog forecast this night, with an overnight low of 6 degrees, which I think it our lowest nighttime low so far this season.
In other news: The Greenhouse contraption is thriving, sort of. There are cucumbers in there, sort of. And each day a new bean greets me. It’s dotey my little contraption and has been happy with the recent light. Mad cap projects on a whim highly advised!
The leaves on the streets are so delightful this week, they being of the dry variety, rather than the treacle they turn into when it rains.
This years Farmer’s 2011 Almanac — hot off the shelf here — predicts that the Nov -March period will be colder in BC, with higher than normal snowfall.
In contrast snowfall will be below normal in the Maritime provinces.
Thus we shall be expecting shipments of unused thermals and legwarmers, from distant, warmer than usual, friends.
Thanks to the insights of the wool wearing Madame Julie, I have learned that the reason multiple cardigans are not improving my temperatures (3 identical cardigans at last count) is because said cardigans are made of cotten, silk and something, and are by her definition Spring cardigans!
I have to exercise restraint in the matter of acquiring a fourth identical pointless cardigan. I find such comfort when clothing is identical. Perhaps it is all those years of wearing a school uniform, or some other neurological reasoning, like not actually having to take up any brain space making a decision about what is to be worn, ever. A tic, I accept it’s a tic.
Today I was contemplating how to recover from the awful sight of the accident I witnessed on Sunday, as it has made me very jittery and I keep seeing the poor cyclist airborne. I’ve been observing how shock physicalizes into certain muscles in the body and working with those muscles, while recognizing the need to not do very much, except drink ginger tea, meet my daily responsibilities and wait until it passes. This being nothing compared to the poor man who took the flight.
I am very lucky that my daily life and my co-habitants can facilitate this. None of us are adverse to lying around reading and we need plenty of down time which we treasure, even when heart rates are not higher than usual.
And sometimes subjects converge in interesting ways. My son was watching a documentary series on Churchill for some research. For whatever reason I started in 4 parts in on Part 1 by accident. It began with Churchill and Michael Collins and the treaty and moved through his poor handling of the 1926 General Strike and woeful attitude to breaking the miners and on. It then moved into his 10 year period where he was out of politics. He travelled to America on a lecture tour and lo and behold the pictures informed us was hit, quite seriously, by a taxi in New York. He wrote an article about it and earned a much needed (read extravagant lifestyle) five thousand pounds.
I went in search of the article and lo agus behold encore this was what I found
I have been squinting and one paragraph on the left hand side of the piece, but have a hard time making out the words.
It may read:
“There was one moment — I cannot measure it is time — of a world aglare (?) a man aghast. I certainly thought quickly enough I am going to be run down and probably killed. Then came the blow.”
When I read it or squinted it, I unfortunately could hear the blow.