Atlantic Books Today, Fall 2012

 

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ex ce rp ts ·r fr ev iew s· ee bo o k w s ne fall 2012 · no 70 publications mail agreement 40038836 it s for the word birds the word on the street book magazine festival returns to halifax september 23 printed page vs silver screen with award-winning author and filmmaker shandi mitchell storyteller steve vernon s scariest stories yet going digital the author-reader relationship 2.0 interact with your favourite authors at home or on the go digital learning what lies in the future p.30 small stores taking big steps to survive digital age p.28

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atlantic books today contents contents atlantic books today · number 70 features 20 common pages shared literary experiences bring reading out of isolation on the cover 22 it s for the word birds the word on the street book and magazine festival returns to the halifax waterfront september 23 word 25 spinning yarns with multiple wheels master storyteller steve vernon shares his scariest stories yet guest editorial on the street 26 printed page vs silver screen award-winning author and filmmaker shandi mitchell on mastering two very different forms of writing 27 the author-reader relationship 2.0 how you can interact with your favourite authors at home or on the go 28 small stores taking big steps how some independent bookstores are using technology to survive the digital age 30 digital learning the publishing industry is changing what does this mean for the future of educational tools the word on the street book and magazine festival will unfold on the halifax waterfront going digital pages 27-31 cover and illustration on this page marina siu-chong ­ crabshackgallery.com/blog courtesy of the word on the street halifax 4 fall 2012 atlantic books today

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atlantic books today contents in every issue 9 our contributors alec bruce received two golds in the 2011 atlantic journalism awards and one gold in the 2011 international editorial and design awards tabbies michelle brunet is a freelance writer and esl teacher based in halifax n.s paul butler is the st john s-based author of cupids and hero madeline comeau is a writer and an avid reader of literary fiction non-fiction and poetry lisa doucet is a children s bookseller at woozles in halifax n.s margaret patricia eaton is a visual arts columnist for the moncton times transcript and a poet her latest collection vision voice contains paintings by angelica de benedetti bernadette fegan lives in nova scotia and is passionate about early childhood development and education with a focus on literacy in the early years shirley gueller is a writer and editor who works in halifax and cape town ralph higgins is a writer columnist and book/movie reviewer living in nova scotia s annapolis valley stephen kimber the author of one novel and seven books of nonfiction is the rogers communications chair in journalism at the university of king s college rosalie maceachern is a freelance writer living in stellarton n.s joanna manning lives in moncton where she chooses her words carefully whether teaching yoga or writing when she has time she creates mixed-media collages shandi mitchell is a multi-award-winning author and filmmaker who makes her home on the east coast of canada very close to the water laurie glenn norris writes and lives in lower kingsclear n.b with her husband barry many cats and lots of books clare o connor is a freelance writer living in halifax n.s elizabeth patterson is a writer musician and broadcaster based in sydney n.s jon tattrie is a freelance journalist and the author of black snow and the hermit of africville pottersfield press valerie mansour is a writer researcher editor and former restaurant critic in halifax n.s whitney moran is a freelance journalist and poet and in-house editor at nimbus publishing in halifax n.s veronica simmonds is a writer and radio producer based out of halifax n.s her words have appeared in maclean s spacing and the coast kimberly walsh is a publishing label executive at fierce ink press as well as a freelance writer and communications strategist in halifax n.s kate watson is a freelance writer and theatre critic for the coast living in dartmouth n.s atlantic books today fall 2012 5 interview with an author heather jessup completes abt s questionnaire 10 book excerpts rock reject set in the 1970s at a time when the dangers of asbestos first began to surface this novel is about accepting responsibility for one s actions corporate irresponsibility and the blind pursuit of profit at the expense of physical and environmental health fluctuat nec mergitur the journey and journal of an artist who has conducted a forty-five-year love affair with newfoundland since he first set foot there in 1966 travelling to every inhabited corner of the island he has recorded his personal vision painted almost entirely on-site each image is the story of one day in his life and one day in the life of a community huskies in pursuit of excellence a celebration of saint mary s university varsity athletic programs 1951-2012 al brown s humorous article is but a portion of one of many dozens of histories memories essays anecdotes sport photos memorabilia and statistics complied by some fortyseven authors and other contributors in this collection 16 inside the author s studio award-winning writer riel nason sews up her love of words in the comfort of her family home in quispamsis new brunswick 18 children s books the best of new children s and young adult books 32 book reviews a selection of fiction poetry history people local interest and food 43 events a list of upcoming atlantic book-related events 44 book news all the latest from the atlantic book world 46 book giveaway enter to win a beautiful basket of atlantic canadian books

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connect with abt online visit our website for digital issues reading guides articles book reviews lists of bookstores a publishers directory atlantic books today is published by the atlantic publishers marketing association www.atlanticpublishers.ca which gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the canada council for the arts and the canada book fund of the department of canadian heritage opinions expressed in articles in atlantic books today do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the board of the atlantic publishers marketing association and more atlanticbookstoday.ca facebook.com/atlantic books today twitter @abtmagazine publisher atlantic publishers marketing association peggy walt executive director managing editor heather fegan editorial advisory committee heidi hallett kristina parlee advertising sales jennifer chapin 902 701.0802 jchapin@atlanticpublishers.ca design meghan rushton ­ design@atlanticpublishers.ca printed in canada this is issue number 70 fall 2012 atlantic books today is published three times a year all issues are numbered in sequence total atlantic-wide circulation 60,000 issn 1192-3652 one-year subscriptions to abt are available for $15 17.25 including hst please make cheques payable to the atlantic publishers marketing association and mail to address below or contact heather fegan for subscription inquiries publications mail agreement no 40038836 return undeliverable canadian addresses to atlantic publishers marketing association atlantic books today 1484 carlton street halifax ns b3h 3b7 e-mail apma.admin@atlanticpublishers.ca phone 902 420.0711 fax 902 423.4302 www.atlanticpublishers.ca 6 fall 2012 atlantic books today

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atlantic books today editors message dear reader as i sat at my desk editing an article for this issue common pages page twenty i didn t get much further than the first line reading is often a solitary activity when a second article landed in my inbox always eager to peek at a story i immediately clicked to open a feature on the author-reader relationship the first line struck me instantly ask most authors and they ll tell you that writing is a solitary act what a lonely industry thankfully the uprising of social media allows authors and readers to connect like never before the author-reader relationship 2.0 on page twenty-seven has all kinds of advice on how to interact with your favourite authors wherever you are our story on digital learning on page thirty addresses some of the changes taking place in the publishing industry and what this means for the future of educational tools as a tech-savvy generation of students embrace technology leaping into the digital age and beyond it feels sometimes at warp speeds are traditional textbooks one for the history books independent bookstores across atlantic canada are also working hard to keep up a few are using some pretty innovative ideas to embrace technology to survive the digital age check out small stores taking big steps on page twenty-eight while reading and writing are very much independent solitary activities they take place on common ground readers writers word birds and bookworms of all kinds are having literary experiences alone together so it s great when the opportunity arises to bring it all out in the open our article on the shared literary experience mentioned above common pages highlights several initiatives across the region that bring reading and writing out of isolation while being able to connect online at any time of the day or night is great there is nothing like meeting an author hearing them read and asking them questions irl as they say online in real life like at the word on the street book and magazine festival which returns to the halifax waterfront on sunday september 23 we cover some of the highlights starting on page twenty-two we even speak to some of the participating authors to find out just what the word on the street is heather fegan atlantic books today atlantic books today fall 2012 7

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atlantic books today interview photo shannon webb campbell abt s proust questionnaire he ather jessup heather jessup the lightning field $27.95 pb 978-1-55447-106-5 272 pp gaspereau press october 2011 shortlisted for the prestigious thomas head raddall atlantic fiction prize to be awarded this october the lightning field is heather jessup s first novel currently a doctoral candidate at the university of toronto and a creative writing instructor at dalhousie university heather lives in halifax after growing up in vancouver here she shares her love of many writers her desire to flamenco and how she overcame her fear of dogs what do you consider your best quality i am not sure that one is able to recognize one s own best quality i feel much too close to myself to know this but many people have claimed that i have a good laugh i would like it if my laugh were my best quality a quality you desire in a partner patience humour kindness and the ability to make a good cup of coffee oh dear that s four qualities apparently i have high expectations when it comes to love what do you appreciate most about your friends their effervescence and wisdom i have incredibly bright courageous and remarkable friends your worst quality unlike our best qualities i have a hunch we are able to recognize our worst qualities why is that the ones i am willing to share with you difficulty living in the present moment and the ability to answer questionnaires sorry dear reader i ll try my best your favourite occupation writing also teaching making jam swimming in lakes going for bike rides dancing flamenco letter-press printing reading snuggled under the covers traveling and daydreaming what is your idea of happiness paris your idea of misery insomnia pablo neruda sheryda warrener gertrude stein wallace stevens amanda jernigan if you could be someone else for a day who homer sue sinclair basho issa nick thran w.h auden jan zwicky darren would it be i think i would like to live inside the mind bifford seamus heaney sue goyette anne of an animal a whale or a crow perhaps carson john donne kate hall the author of beowulf michael ondaatje emily dickwhere you would most like to live inson don mckay i could go on and on near the ocean surrounded by people i favourite authors love again so many f scott fitzgerald anne favourite colour carson michael winter michael ondaatje picking a single colour is very difficult for lisa moore john berger jorge luis borges me probably the pink of a just-opened sarah selecky david mitchell steven price peony but the particular dark that comes virginia woolf edward albee j.d salinwhen you can see the stars is also pretty ger jennifer eagan ernest hemingway grand donald barthelme alice munro alexander mcleod favourite animal leroy the dog he is the dog that as an am your favourite fictional heroes bassador of his species made me like dogs at the moment geryon the red winged after being terrified of them as a child his monster in anne carson s autobiography of approach taking my soggy mittens when red but there are many mrs dalloway is meeting me at the bottom of a steep flight another of montreal stairs and carrying them up to my friend s apartment for me placing them your real life heroes ever-so-gently by where my boots would go my goddaughter autumn who while most mind you leroy is a personal friend now of her friends were busy with high school i also like animals that i don t know i like has survived leukemia twice with patience most all animals jellyfish camels sloths good humour and grace while also doing beetles cows ravens cats tigers bears i her schoolwork from the hospital and my think liking animals from a small age is why godson eric her brother who is the most amazing brother i have ever met i aspire to i am now a vegetarian be as hilarious generous and brave as these your favourite poets two in life oh impossible i love so many warren heiti rainer maria rilke leonard cohen interview continues on page 45 atlantic books today fall 2012 9

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atlantic books today book excerpt abt book excerpt rock reject by jim williams excerpted from rock reject by jim williams roseway publishing $19.95 pb 256 pp 978-1-55266-516-9 september 2012 though still a young man peter has experienced a life s worth of heartache unable to face the reminders of his loss he flees toronto exiling himself to a mountaintop mine in northern british columbia the year is 1974 and the company is mining asbestos which it claims poses no health risks to either mine workers or residents of the nearby native community try as he might to push aside his concern for others peter can t help getting involved when the wellbeing of those around him is put on the line digging for the truth peter finds more than he bargained for in this compelling story of personal struggle and political change new fiction from roseway publishing so what should i be doing in here koopman laughed what you should be doing is getting another job what you re supposed to be doing is a fucking waste of time leave your lunch here grab that pick and shovel and follow me they stepped out of the lunch room just as a deafening roar rolled over them peter covered his ears against the noise that s a truck load dumped into the crusher koopman shouted happens every few minutes if the digging in the pit is good hearing protectors were attached to the side of his hardhat and he flipped them down over his ears then started down the corridor jagged lumps of broken rock the size of grapefruit began to speed by on the conveyor belt the light grew dimmer as they walked downwards along the packed earth floor dust coated the unpainted plywood walls and ceiling and peter tasted it in his mouth he turned and looked back and saw their footprints like they were in new fallen snow they climbed down a flight of wooden stairs beside a ten-foot-high funnelshaped machine the conveyor they had 10 fall 2012 been following dumped ore into its open top and another one led away from the bottom moving the rock that had been crushed smaller further down the building and out of sight into the murky haze of dust the machine made a piercing noise like a nail being driven through his ears at the bottom of the stairs the corridor was smaller the ceiling lower koopman leaned close to peter to shout there are three of these cone crushers down the line from the jaw crusher and where the ore drops out of them is where the spills usually happen we re standing on spilt ore so you can shovel away to your heart s content dig the stuff off the walkway and throw it onto the belt peter looked up at the ceiling timbers that were caked in dust he raised his hand and touched them how come the ceiling s so low here it ll be hard to swing the pick koopman laughed they say this place was built with fifteen-foot ceilings so that means there s over seven feet of ore spill under our feet like i said it s a futile fucking job coffee break s at ten lunch at noon have fun koopman turned and went back up the stairs towards the lunch room peter watched him leave then stared at the machine in front of him that was smashing apart the rock pouring into it and depositing a stream of fist-sized pieces onto a conveyor underneath it travelled another thirty feet before dumping the ore into the top of another crusher he searched in his pocket and found a kleenex which he tore in half and stuffed into his ears easing the piercing pain from the noise he picked up the shovel raised it over his head with both hands and rammed it down into the years of compacted spilled rock and dust the top inch chipped away like it was concrete the shovel vibrated through his hands and arms pain shot through his sore wrist making him drop the shovel he took the pick-axe and swung it hard feeling a satisfying thud as the heavy point sunk in deep he levered the pick and pried away a chunk the size of his head then swung again and again sweat ran over his face and down his chest and back his wrist throbbed as he pounded into the waste of the mine atlantic books today

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atlantic books today book excerpt at ten o clock peter stopped digging and wandered down the corridor past more crushing and screening machines until he found a door that let him outside he sat on a boulder next to a pile of discarded machinery and garbage in a truck-turning area that had been cleared of snow he lit a cigarette he was on the side of the mountain where the ore tramline came out of the bottom of rock reject the full buckets swaying from the cable as they floated down the mountainside to the mill the clouds that had brought the snow moved away and the sun lit up snow-covered mountains that stretched endlessly to the southern horizon he sat motionless watching the play of light and shadow on the brilliant peaks the beauty opening a joy inside him he closed his eyes clinging to the feeling he hadn t known for so long only to have it smothered in an instant pushed back down inside him by remorse he opened his eyes to the mountains dull now with the return of the clouds his numbness returned as well the wind picked up and he was suddenly cold shivering in his damp clothes he threw his cigarette into the snow and went back to rock reject above the door someone had nailed a hand-lettered sign abandon all hope ye who enter here he read it and nodded in agreement then took a last breath of outside air and returned to his pick and shovel at noon his face plastered with dust and lined with the tracks of sweat he returned to the lunch room koopman looked up from his book and laughed jesus you re keen did you get to the bottom yet peter shrugged he took a drink of water from the cooler and blew his nose green mucus covered the tissue it makes the time go faster having something to do that s probably what sisyphus thought peter gave him a puzzled look futile and hopeless labour the ultimate fucking punishment i m detecting gaps in your education peter s face reddened education has to be pretty practical for my family he sat on a bench across from koopman did you study classics yep got a b.a he sucked on his cigarette and blew a smoke ring into the dusty air and you oh i dropped out peter looked around for something to clean the dust from the table and reached for a dirty balled-up rag that sat on the edge of the sink the sign above the door down at the bottom that s dante right you like that koopman smiled i shovelled in here my first couple of months and nailed that up when i got a job on a drill pretty fucking appropriate if i do say so he dropped his cigarette on the floor and ground it with his boot let me show you something from his satchel he took out a cube of shiny green rock three inches on a side he put it on the table in front of peter that s what it s all about here finest ore in the world peter held it feeling the smooth ridged sides satiny strands of white fibre escaped from the rock flexible and silky it s beautiful he said koopman extended his hand and peter gave him the rock they call this crude they hire students in the summer to hand-pick blocks like this and bigger after a blast and it gets specially processed for weaving nasa uses the stuff he hefted it in his hand watch his long fingers closed around the shiny green stone and squeezed grinding it in his fist then opening his hand to reveal a handful of long white fibers metamorphosis he said fibres from stone he teased at the asbestos lying in his palm then dumped it on the dirt floor by the wall fucking stuff s worth a fortune he picked up his book and leaned his back against the wall peter looked at the pile of white fibres for a moment thinking how the strands resembled milkweed thinking of a late summer walk with rose on manitoulin island the roar of a load falling into the jaw crusher snapped his attention back to the room to the layer of dust on the table he was about to eat at he wiped it with the stiff dirty rag and watched the dust fall to the floor it s like there s more dust than air in this place he said does anyone wear a mask couple of guys did a while back but they said they were useless the filters got clogged with the dust and they froze up in the cold couldn t hardly suck any air through them he turned a page in his book but it s amazing what you can get used to when the money s good peter opened his lunch bag and unwrapped his sandwiches dust floated onto them from the sleeves of his coveralls more fell from his hands as he tried to wipe the bread clean he glanced up to see koopman watching him what the fuck he said turning his attention back to his book you re hungry you eat peter looked at his food half covered with green dust then ate abt about the author jim williams was born and raised in vancouver and has lived in toronto san francisco and halifax working at many jobs along the way including in the asbestos mine and mill depicted in rock reject he now lives in halifax where he and his wife jane finlay-young divide their time between their massage therapy practices and writing atlantic books today fall 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atlantic books today book excerpt abt book excerpt fluctuat nec mergitur by jc roy excerpted from fluctuat nec mergitur by jc roy breakwater books $59.95 hc 480 pp 978-1-55081-342-5 fall 2012 this book is the journey and in a sense the journal of an artist who has conducted a forty-five-year love affair with newfoundland since he first set foot there in 1966 travelling to every inhabited corner of the island he has recorded his personal vision painted almost entirely on-site each image is the story of one day in his life and one day in the life of a community new non-fiction from breakwater books i have drawn and painted the newfoundland landscape since i first set foot on the island in 1966 at the age of 17 as a novice seaman on a french cable ship i was too young to be allowed to leave the ship unescorted but one beautiful spring day i escaped with my sketch pad and climbed signal hill and that was the beginning of my attachment to the province while chatting with another inpatriate newfoundlander in 2001 i heard the fateful words i ve been to every community on the island of newfoundland at that moment i decided that i would paint every community on the island and thus began a journey that has ended with the publication of this book i set out shortly after with my government-issued tourism map marking off places as i painted them and adding a few as i went along 12 fall 2012 atlantic books today

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atlantic books today book excerpt with very few exceptions these images were painted on site sometimes in the cold frequently in high winds i have had to hang a rock from my easel to keep it steady tie it to a fence or on occasion put the canvas flat on the ground and paint lying down the wind dictates the movement on the canvas the passing clouds alter the light being there for me is essential to capturing the feeling of the day every painting is a page in my diary and in the diary of the community this is neither an art book nor travel book nor is it a retrospective of my work as an artist it is not meant to be an accurate depiction of every community it is a unique story ­ a love story really ­ of a foreigner who thinks he is a newfoundlander i have driven and walked all over the island and i have done what i do best in this life ­ i painted what i saw the physical and the human landscape it s my story and i m sticking with it and i d be pleased if you would come with me on a trip around the island abt about the author jean claude roy was born in rochefort sur mer france in 1948 committed to becoming an artist since childhood he first came to newfoundland as a sailor with the french merchant marine at the age of seventeen after living in newfoundland for a number of years and taking canadian citizenship he now divides his time between france and newfoundland entirely self-taught he describes his style as expressionist-colourist his works can be found in public and private collections in the united states canada and europe atlantic books today fall 2012 13

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atlantic books today book excerpt abt book excerpt huskies in pursuit of excellence a celebration of saint mary s university varsity athletic programs 1951-2012 memories by the reverend al brown excerpted from huskies in pursuit of excellence a celebration of saint mary s university varsity athletic programs 1951-2012 new world publishing $32.50 pb 320 pp 978-1-89581-444-6 september 2012 this excerpt of al brown s humorous article was written for the section entitled memories in the forthcoming 320-page book entitled huskies in pursuit of excellence a celebration of saint mary s university varsity athletic programs 1951-2012 it is a portion of one of many dozens of histories memories essays anecdotes sport photos memorabilia and statistics complied by some forty-seven authors and other contributors new non-fiction from new world publishing on a stormy morning in september 1966 i began what would become a life-changing journey off to college my first time ever away from parents and home a lump grew in my throat as i waved goodbye to mom dad sisters and brothers and moved towards the eastern airlines electra awaiting me the lump disappeared as soon as the family was out of sight and the plane rose into the clouds off on an adventure the clouds were so thick it was as though the world had been erased everything went blank after a changeover in boston i boarded an air canada vickers viscount along with clem maynard a former high school foe but now both rising santamarians after the powerful flight of the electra the viscount ro-oo-ll-ll-ed along the runway and i thought it would never gain enough power or speed to actually take off it eventually did but still i never believed it had enough lift to remain in the air i later would learn that the electra model had some serious problems and several had crashed i also learned that the viscount had one of the best service records in avia14 fall 2012 tion history had i known about the electra s record i would have walked to nova scotia oh i was going to go i had to go four younger brothers and sisters at home i loved them but i had to go as we approached halifax and the viscount drifted below the clouds we hit turbulence and the plane bounced around like a rubber ball i held my stomach clem held his we were absolutely sure that we were going to die on our very first day of flying ever we didn t die the process of finding my way to saint mary s and nova scotia was and still is fascinating to me one day my high school coach joe gaines called me into his office and said there was someone who wanted to meet me it was coach les goodwin of saint mary s university halifax nova scotia canada we talked and he arranged to speak with my parents upon his visit my father remembered coach goodwin from his days as a coach in linden my father had been a high school football player in nearby cranford they shared stories about the givens boys renowned local athletes of an earlier era and coach goodwin shared stories of the success of jim daniels another lindenite who was enjoying an excellent athletic career at saint mary s it was an easy decision i m out i was leaving home to attend a school which for all that i knew was in the middle of a pine forest and buried in snow that was the prevailing belief about canada in our area at the time we had little money so i had only applied to few local schools so saint mary s was like a dream come true what many never knew was that i had also received a visit from stu aberdeen the esteemed basketball coach at acadia university how he had heard of me i never knew clem and i were met at the halifax airport by basketball team captain rick dougherty and coach goodwin beginning this new adventure i guess it was appropriate that it was a dark dreary rainy night we entered the city and checked into the residence halls most of the residents had not arrived so now i was not only away from the family and in a strange place but i was alone atlantic books today

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atlantic books today book excerpt the process of finding my way to saint mary s and nova scotia was and still is fascinating to me one day my high school coach joe gaines called me into his office and said there was someone who wanted to meet me it was coach les goodwin of saint mary s university halifax nova scotia canada as time went on more guys arrived and moved into the dorm at some point it occurred to me that there were no girls anywhere coach neglected to tell us that saint mary s was an all male institution when i called home and mentioned this fact my sister responded what does it matter to you you re a square anyway as time progressed there was an ongoing tug of war between the sadness of leaving home the fears of the unknown new world and the excitement of the new adventure as a college freshman halifax was an unusual place to a young man from the new york metropolitan area it was as if one had stepped back in time the electric trolley buses the beautiful victorian homes in the old south end those accents and the nova scotian cliché eh i was fascinated by the old trolleys which were actually buses powered by overhead electric lines it was puzzling and somewhat amusing while riding a bus that it would suddenly go dark and come to a complete stop at that point the driver would leave the vehicle proceed to the rear and reset the electrical conduction poles onto the overhead wires i recall heading downtown to barrington street on the weekends to a little chinese restaurant ming toy although not the most upscale place they served great tasting food in those days you could not get to the waterfront unlike today s wonderful boardwalk as it was occupied by factories and fishing boats one could always smell the catch of the day wafting up from the harbour i quickly grew to love this new world life began to flow as classes began and i met new friends the transition and the emotional tug of war continued but the university and the community began to grow on me a strange thing is that a number of classmates from the states and from upper canada all made light of halifax and its people yet today it is amazing how many have been converted by those same people and the culture of nova scotia many of us return regularly while those who were originally reluctant to return but eventually did regretted that they had not come back sooner many of us took home degrees and wives while some dropped anchor and made the maritimes their homes today s students might not believe how different things were back in the dark ages of the 60s saint mary s had a dress code imagine a dress code jackets and ties every day for everything classes meals i mean everything i recall getting up early on one saturday morning for breakfast the best meal of the day i wore pjs with a collar i washed up put a tie over my pj top went to breakfast and returned to bed we even had a curfew say it again slowly c-u-r-f-e-w we had to be in our rooms by eleven p.m while the roman catholic students were required to go into the hallway at eleven each night to recite the rosary one night i was in clem s room talking and suddenly realized that it was after eleven p.m i rushed towards the door and as i touched the handle a little voice inside said do not go out there clem can you check the hallway he went out looked to his left and then the right his head snapped quickly back to the left as he stated hi father hennessy while i sat inside having a heart attack in those days we respected rules and authority a few minutes later the coast was clear and i fled quickly and quietly downstairs to my room i had no doubt that father hennessy knew that i was in that room mercy is a good thing i had the privilege of meeting a number of locally prominent individuals within the black community first among those were the downey family billy the owner of the famous arrows club graham who became the first ever black city alderman and david the canadian middleweight boxing champion whom i count as a friend to this day some of the local families practically adopted some of us who were away from home single-handedly they practically wiped away any homesickness that remained our adopted aunts always had a smile a cup of tea and some cake at the ready the brotherhood of santamarians was also phenomenal we were like a family abt about the author the reverend al brown graduated from saint mary s university in 1970 a talented basketball player who set several auaa and ciau tournament records for rebounding in the late 1960s he came to canada for an education but also made many friends and returned home with a life partner and a degree as well as many fond memories which prompt him to return to halifax on a regular basis he was inducted into the saint mary s university sport hall of fame in 2011 al currently serves as the assistant to the dean college of visual and performing arts at kean university in union new jersey and as pastor of the first baptist church of cranford n.j atlantic books today fall 2012 15

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