Monday, February 10, 2014

Expect the Unexpected

My first novel, From The Dust, is a historical romance set in Depression Era Saskatchewan.  As part of my research I interviewed a few people that had lived through the thirties.  Unfortunately, one of those I interviewed, my husband's uncle, recently passed away.   I've re-posted below, the blog post that was the result of that interview.

Here's to you, Uncle Jim.

A Whole Lot of Nothing In Saskatchewan

"No one had any money," the tall, handsome senior tells me. He was a teenager through much of the thirties. The thirties, not the depression, that's how many of the seniors I talk to refer to the depression, only as the thirties.

"What did you do for fun?" I ask.


"No dances?" I prod.

"I played the fiddle my Dad bought."

"You didn't have any money," I remind him.

"We bought it before the thirties, when we still had some money."

"Did you play at dances?" I ask again.

"Wasn't that good," he says in his cryptic manner. "The neighour taught me. We had musicals at different homes. I played at them sometimes."

"And dances?" So give me credit - I'm persistent!

"Yeah. I played at a few. But usually we had a real orchestra come out."

"Orchestra?" Now I'm puzzled. What about the no money thing?

"Yeah, my cousin played banjo, his wife played fiddle and a friend played saxaphone. They came out every Saturday night."

Nothing is sure becoming an interesting term. There's a whole lot of nothing going on. But I press on.

"From the city?" I ask.

"No, from the farm." He looks puzzled at the question. "They came into town."

"So you danced every weekend?"

"When we didn't have money. Sometimes we had money you know."
He eyes me like everyone should know this fact and continues,"then we went to Disley and bought beer."

"Yeah. But we got rid of the empties."
"So you returned the empties?" I ask assuming poverty stricken as they were they would want the cash on a bottle return.
"Oh no." He shakes his head. "That would mean we'd have to take the bottles home with us. We threw them away so our mothers wouldn't find out we'd been drinking beer!"


After "From the Dust" was published, I received this feedback from Uncle Jim:

 "I read your book," he said with his cane perched across his long legs.  He paused as if for effect.  "I liked it."

I let out a relieved breath.

"Except for one thing."

Silence resonated as I held my breath, almost afraid to think what might have been wrong.  It's a love story there were probably places where a man of his age might have wished I'd glossed over.  Yes, that must have been it.

He repositioned his cane, obviously loving the drama.  Then he looked at me with a smile and said, "Not enough sex."

 Uncle Jim
1917 - 2014

Life is Unexpected - Safe travels
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