Tag Archives: author

A Forgotten Carleton Place Writer: D. K. Findlay – Part 2

A Forgotten Carleton Place Writer: D. K. Findlay – Part 2

Part 1- The Man Known as D.K. Findlay–David Findlay

Findlay, D(avid) K(ilpatrick) (1901-1990) (items)(chron.)Novelist and lawyer. Born in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada.

By Mary Cook Citizen special correspondent

In the Depression, when D. K. Findlay gave up his law practice in Carleton Place to become a full-time writer, he hoped to make a more comfortable living than he could manage as a young lawyer. Now, five novels later, he is not rich, but neither does he regret the decision. His latest, King Winter, about a melange of U.S. travellers and local villagers marooned in the Ottawa Valley by a great storm, has just been published by Deneau and Greenberg of Ottawa. Interviewed recently, Findlay recalled when he first decided writing would be integral to his life.

“I was about 10 years old,” he said. “Suddenly, in school one day, I was filled with this terrible need to create a story. I ran all the way home and in about two hours wrote this fantastic tale about a fight between a bull moose and a bear. It was my first encounter with writing … and I don’t suppose I ever got over that feeling of exhilaration of having created something on paper.”

War correspondent Findlay went on to become Second World War correspondent with Maclean’s magazine, and, after returning to Canada, started writing for the American market. He found ready acceptance for his stories of adventure and intrigue, and his first novel, Search for Amelia, ran as a serial in the Ladies Home Journal. He went on to write Third Act, The Lost One, and Northern Affair (which has become a popular paperback in Denmark). Findlay calls himself a serious writer. He considers his writing a full-time profession and manages to make a living at it. However, none of his novels have come easily. King Winter was three years in the writing and the final draft was his third attempt: “I kept getting trapped in side issues which took me away from the plot.

After the third writing, I knew I had captured what I wanted to say at the outset.” Findlay finds writing for the Canadian market a challenge. He said there aren’t many successful Canadian authors, and the majority of these are females. One of the dilemmas facing the Canadian author, he said, is the shortage of Canadian readers. Gossip sells “Anything written with political overtones, or in a gossipy fashion sells here,” he said. “Unfortunately, good fiction isn’t too popular. “However, the climate for Canadian authors is gradually changing. To be a writer when I started was to be an oddity.”

Findlay is thinking about his sixth novel, but not too strenuously. He foresees a story about children who grow up in a small town, leave, then return as adults to a changed environment. This sounds like his own family, but he says no. The Findlay family built a manufacturing dynasty around the stove industry in Carleton Place. D. K. Findlay, a great grandson of the original stove-maker, David Findlay, said he doesn’t think he would ever write about the family “being too close to it would be a handicap.”

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada02 Nov 1978, Thu  •  Page 75

 Canada battles a new ice age in D.K. Findlay’s fifth novel KING WINTER By D. K. Findlay Deneau & Greenberg 214 pages By ZONIA KEYWAN Special to The Gazette What if the unusually heavy snowstorms that have struck Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States in recent years were not chance occurences but symptoms of new climatic conditions, heralds of the start of a new ice age’.’ What if a far worse storm were to strike a storm violent enough to cripple half the continent for a protracted period of time? This possibility becomes reality in D. K. Findlay’s fifth novel. King Winter. A storm of unprecedented ferocity hits Ontario, Quebec and the neighboring states, immobilizing all means of transportation and leaving thousands stranded in airports across the land. Ryder, a history professor turned government environmentalist, finds himself put in charge of a group of airline passengers stranded in the Ottawa Valley. The travellers, most of them ‘ Americans, are confused, angry and on the verge of panic. Although Ryder has no particular qualifications that would prepare him to deal with an emergency of this magnitude and although he has troubles of his own, he rises to the task. He moves his group to the nearby village of Huntley and strives to keep them fed, clothed, sheltered and calm for the duration of the emergency. This turns out to be a far longer period than anyone would have imagined, for what strikes the region is not merely a single storm. A strange weather system has gripped the whole northeastern part of North America and sends a succession of storms, fierce winds and endless snow which threatens to bury the whole region and all its inhabitants. This is a story of confrontation between man and the elemental forces of nature. The snow takes on a curious, complex life of its own. It is an impla threatened to bury the region? cable enemy, yet it has a strange sort of; beauty and it even serves, on occasion, as a force of justice. Findlay shows us : the vulnerability of human beings and . the fragility of their creations air-‘ planes, radios, telephones, power sta- tions. Isolated in their village, the people of Huntley are forced to struggle for survival, and although they are shaken and bruised, they are not broken. Total strangers, unexpectedly thrown together, fight side by side to keep their community alive. King Winter claims a few sacrificial victims, but the majority survive. King Winter is well-paced, gripping and too convincing for comfort.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada11 Nov 1978, Sat  •  Page 38

KING WINTER. By D. K. Findlay. 214 pages. Deneau and Greenberg. $9.95. What would life be like in a really big snow? I mean weeks of snow and blow that rose to the second story of our houses! Snow and succeeding snow that blocked all our transport! A winter that seemed to herald the determined start of another Ice Age! Ottawa author D. K. Findlay has taken up the query. He’s written a suspense tale on what might be dubbed the great Canadian nightmare. Amusingly, and pleasurably for Ottawa Valley readers, he’s given his story a microcosm setting that is almost in our midst. Picture a town 30 miles from Ottawa that has a local airport where an airliner, refused landing at Uplands, has just dumped 70 travellers.

Surround it by two rail-lines and two highways where nothing has moved for the past two weeks. Give the town an army bunker installation that can supply tracked vehicles. Get the stranded travellers moved from the hangar over to billets In the town. The locals are already struggling to keep themselves fed and warm. But Valley hospitality would never turn strangers from the door, not even the mixed bag, frail New York jeweller to rock performers, who are now their impatient and worried guests. The author calls the town Hunt-Icy. “It was situated on a roll of land with three streets going up the hillside, looking like a crane’s foot. It seemed to be an old-fashioned village with half the houses of preserved by the family, one of the book’s 41 illustrations). reviewed by Dorothy Bishop painted wood and the rest old brick, and a sprinkle of new bungalows on its flank where the commuters lived. There were five churches and a white Oddfellows Hall, carpenter’s Gothic.”

You’ve pierced the Huntley disguise? It happened that I drove through Carp this past weekend when, holed up by a day’s rain, I sat snug by the’ cottage fire absorbed in Findlay’s snowy world. At times when I stepped out for more wood it seemed a surprise that wet leaves, not huge snowdrifts, lay between cottage and woodpile. Mr. Findlay has a feel for portraying winter. And not only its awesome bite. He can lead you to marvel at it, to admire vast snowfields, even snow fields that crest into ridges that turn back exploratory snowmobiles. The novel’s protagonist is a senior environmentalist from the federal department who has been in the far north. He and his pilot, returning to Ottawa in a Twin Otter turbo-prop from their own survival experience during their flight south, are similarly forced to land at Carp.

Excuse me, Huntley. Dr. Ryder assumes leadership in the stranded village. His are the eyes through which see we most of the action. In this lonely little world, the rest, of the continent being cut off from it, townsfolk and travellers with for winter varying successes have to achieve everything for themselves. The local grist mill keeps them in bread. Neighboring’ farmers and destroyed animals keep them in milk and meat. I must confess I found I wasuvorrying more than the author did about how the good cooks of Huntley were managing supplies for their church suppers that had to feed the multitudes. The author’s eyes were more often on the variable pulse of the village: the suicidal escape attempts, the dashed hopes, when the expected airlift had to turn away, the diversionary concert, the elusive rapist. And Ryder’s eyes for a time were on the beautiful young woman who was in such a frenzy to get back to Baltimore.

The author’s usual Incisive dialogue seemed to falter into the banal in those love episodes. And I had a curious sense during several scenes that the rest of the story had stopped. It has always been for me one of the magics of successful fiction that as reader you art-aware of the pulse of the story’s surrounding life no matter where your attention is focused for the moment. It makes no mind. King Winter holds you even past the points your brain tells you aren’t quite working. . This minor Grand Hotel among the Valley snows has its own intrigucmcnls. And visually its Ottawa publishers have done the tale proud. What a fireside suspense light read this should make as winter storms swirl around our well ploughed Ottawa streets this winter!

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada28 Oct 1978, Sat  •  Page 50

CLIPPED FROMThe Montreal StarMontreal, Quebec, Canada05 May 1962, Sat  •  Page 120

CLIPPED FROMThe News TribuneTacoma, Washington16 Nov 1958, Sun  •  Page 66

CLIPPED FROMThe Boston GlobeBoston, Massachusetts22 Nov 1944, Wed  •  Page 3

The Man Known as D.K. Findlay–David Findlay

Forgotten Letters – William Findlay- Almonte Memories –The Buchanan Scrapbook

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire

A Forgotten Will of 1895

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

The Forgotten Graves of Lanark County

Glory Days of Carleton Place-The Olde Barracks-Canada’s Forgotten “Little Bunkers”-Leigh Gibson

Heath Flint — CPHS 1996/1997 “Freezing Tag” Short Story

Heath Flint — CPHS 1996/1997 “Freezing Tag” Short Story

I found this in a Carleton Place High School Publication from 1996/1997 thanks to Glenda Mahoney. I was just amazed by the writing and asked Sandra Hurdis Finnigan if Heath was a writer now.

Sarah Cavanagh


Grade 3/4 — with Heath Flint and Joe Reid.

Michelle Adey-Rickard


Grade 1 – Mrs. Ward’s class – Caldwell Street Public School

Heath Flint 2015

The Things I did in School?—Tribute to Corey Sample

Oh those Wacky Days of High School! Survey Done by Erin Harrison and Sara Ferguson Grade 12 OAC Plus Last Will and Testamen

Who Really Wrote the Books? Mrs. Harriet Lewis — Stuart McIntosh

Who Really Wrote the Books?  Mrs. Harriet Lewis — Stuart McIntosh

Mrs. Harriet Lewis authored “Outside Her Eden” during the nineteenth century. This advertisement was in the back of the book.

Stuart McIntosh sent this photo to me and of course there was a story..:)It seems Harriet was doing a lot of writing for her husband Leon LOLOL

New York Daily Herald
New York, New York
16 Jun 1869, Wed  •  Page 10

Working name of US author Julius Warren Lewis (1833-1920), who called himself “the Dumas of America”, and who recorded himself on census returns as Leon Lewis; much of his early work was done in collaboration with his wife, the romance author Harriet Lewis (1841-1878).

In 1856 Leon Lewis had married 15 year old Harriet Newell O’Brien, born at Penn Yann, N. Y. in 1841. Harriet began writing serials for the New York Weekly in 1865. Between 1868 and 1878 the two authors wrote separately and in collaboration for the New York Ledger. The couple was so popular that they were paid enormous sums by the story papers and lived in “grand style” at Penn Yann. Harriet Lewis died 20 May, 1878 at Rochester, N.Y. She was 37 years old.

Harriet’s Husband Leon Lewis

Julius Warren Lewis, better known as “Leon” Lewis, was born in Southington, Connecticut, April 8, 1833, the second son but fourth child of James Dana Lewis and his wife Patty Bishop. His brothers and sisters were James B. (1825-1869), Sarah Ann (Mrs. Charles W. Risley, 1827-1921), Mary Ann (Mrs. George Bronson, 1830-1898), and John Woodruff (“Juan,” 1835-1919).

“Leon’s” schooling was limited to a few winter months while doing chores for his board and clothes on the farm of his uncle Gideon Dunham, the husband of James Dana Lewis’ sister Mary. He was, however, of a literary turn of mind, and began writing at the age of 18. He was also romantic, for about this time he read an article in a Sabbath School Journal, written and signed by “Harriet Newell” which impressed him and led to a correspondence with the writer, Harriet Newell O’Brien (1841-1878), of Penn Yan, New York.

Afterwards they met, were married in 1856 when she was 15 and he was 23, and thereafter lived in Penn Yan.Then began a literary collaboration which lasted during Harriet’s entire life. While each wrote independent stories, many were written in collaboration, and even some of those signed with Leon’s name were written by Harriet. In a letter to Robert Bonner, she wrote: No person, man or woman, has any hand in writing Mr. Lewis’ stories save myself. And no one assists me for I love to write better than to do anything else in the world. From Leon Lewis Click

In January 1879, Leon Lewis went ‘missing,’ from his home in Penn Yann, N.Y., leaving in scandalous circumstances. He sailed off to Europe in the company of his niece, “Miss Julia Wheelock, fifteen years of age.” At Brazil, Leon stepped off the steamer and married his young ward.

Leon Lewis was divorced from his second wife in 1913 and died at Winstead, Connecticut 28 Oct 1920.

Books Which Has Been Lost—-Emma Scott Nasmith

Found in a Garage– Ron Bos — Annie Sophia Shields McLaughlin

Who Was Miss Jessie Alexander ? Poetry Slams of the 1800s

Stuart McIntosh

Maple Syrup Making Photos by Stuart McIntosh

In Praise of School Bus Drivers – Stuart McIntosh

In Memory of Silver Cross Mothers — thanks to Stuart McIntosh

Handwritten Clippings from Stuart McIntosh — When Cutting Corn was $3.00 and Tobacco was 20 Cents

Teamsters Horses and Accidents- Stuart McIntosh

Cheesemakers of Lanark County — Eastern Dairy School- Stuart McIntosh

Then and Now Bowland Road-Community Memories of the McIntosh’s–Stuart McIntosh

Community Memories of the Lorimer’s–Stuart McIntosh

Documenting Ed Pelletier -Photos- Stuart McIntosh

What’s in a Photo — Stuart McIntosh

Hilda Geddes — The Queen of Snow Road and the Mississippi

Hilda Geddes — The Queen of Snow Road and the Mississippi

Hilda Geddes spun her tales, and we learned to understand ourselves.Her book-The Canadian Mississippi River by Hilda Geddes is one of the referencebooks I use all the time. I wish I had met her.

Editor’s note: This is an edited version of a eulogy given by writer Michael Dawber at the funeral of Hilda Geddes, a historian, columnist and storyteller in Snow Road Station, Ont, who died March 13 at the age of 93. By Michael Dawber The English novelist E.M. Forster wrote that “our final experience, like our first, is conjectural. We move between two darknesses.” It is the contribution we make to our community, to society, and to one another that lights the way between those two doorways.

Hilda Geddes spent nine decades making that contribution. Her contributions were enormous and freely given. Like her father John, whose remarkable diary describes the life of Snow Road Station, a hamlet west of Perth, for more than half a century to 1966, Hilda recorded in 1988 the day-to-day existence of this community, which is my home too, for close to 30 years, almost as long as I have been alive.

Like the Yukon’s Edith Josie, Hilda was a community storyteller renowned far beyond her home. I am sure everyone who live in the area has read her words, heard her stories and, through them, experienced this remarkable place. Hilda has been a fixture of Snow Road for so long that the two are part and parcel. In her book The Canadian Mississippi River, Hilda wrote: “I have always had an affinity with the big Mississippi River and the K&P Kingston and Pembroke Railroad, having been born beside both.

While I was growing up, I always had the feeling that the K& P Railway and the Mississippi River would go on forever, my home from 1912 being beside the Snow Road station. During the 27 years I worked for the federal government in Ottawa, I never lost my roots at Snow Road. She told me her interest in storytelling began after she retired from the public service in 1967. In the mid-1970s she was asked to compile a historical sketch for the Presbyterian Church centenary, and from there began a 25-year exploration of this community and the Ottawa Valley beyond.

She told the collective story of this vast place in a way accessible to everyone, with humour and character, in six books and countless newspaper columns. Hilda could spin a long yarn from earlier days, and obviously enjoyed the spinning. I will never forget the afternoon Hilda and her brother Ralph told me the story of lightning striking five different places in the family home, the two of them each building the tale higher with burning telephone lines and smoking mail sacks. And another of her many stories was a tale about the excursion trains to the Renfrew Fair. “This train was scheduled to leave Renfrew around 9 p.m., but usually would wait if all the passengers were not on tap. On one occasion, however, it pulled out on time and some of our crowd got left behind. They had gone to a movie, thinking the train would wait.”

Instead, it pulled out on time, and when they arrived at the station, all they saw were the red rear lights going out of sight. They hired a taxi hoping to catch it at Renfrew Junction, but again it had left. They went ahead hoping to catch it at Opeongo, with the same result. They were forced to stay in Renfrew all night and come down on the morning train. They were a “sheepish looking bunch.”

She said her one regret was that she had not begun her work 50 years ago, when living memory reached back to the pioneer days. It gives you pause to realize that the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk only four years before Hilda was born. The youngest generation now could not imagine the reality of that time without the stories of our elders to remind us. Hilda wrote once, “Today, our memories of the old Snow Road as told by our parents are fading, and one wonders if the following generations will ever hear of it, or remember it if they do hear the story. This was at the root of my desire to chronicle all the data I could …” We are all fortunate that she had that desire.

More than 2,500 years ago, the Greek poet Sappho wrote, “I say that, in another time, someone will remember us.” Thanks to the commitment of Hilda Geddes, we can know we will all be remembered, and so will she.

27 Mar 2001

If you have not read  The Canadian Mississippi River by Hilda Geddes.. run don’t walk!


The Saylor Store on Snow Road (McLaren Depot)

History of McLaren’s Depot — by Evelyn Gemmill and Elaine DeLisle

The old Cornucopia Lodge on Snow Road

A History of Snow Road & McLaren’s Depot

Margaret Closs Lanark and Snow Road- Genealogy

Mississippi Station?

McLaren Left it All to the McLeod Sisters–His Maids!

For the Love of Money-Gillies Gilmours and the McLarens

Logging Down the Line From Snow Road to Lavant to Carleton Place to Appleton to Galetta

Snow Road Ramblings from Richards Castle — From the Pen Of Noreen Tyers

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Snow Road Adventures- Hikes in the Old Cave — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Summer Holidays at Snow Road Cleaning Fish — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Dear Abby of Lanark County -Mary Cook Clippings

The Dear Abby of Lanark County -Mary Cook Clippings






The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Jun 1980, Sat  •  Page 73


Mary Cook Archives

Mary and Walter Swinwood — Mary Cook News Archives 1981

The Evolution of the Women’s Institute — Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Bob Sadler’s Boat Rides –Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Carleton Place Ladies Auxiliary — Chamber of Commerce 1987– Mary Cook Archives

It’s Hard for Women to get into Office in Carleton Place — 1974 –Mary Cook

Mary Cook Archives —Philip Mailey — January 25 1983

Carleton Place a place for Mad Scientists! Mary Cook News Archives 1983

Mary Cook Archives — Rifle Ranges and Nursery Schools — September 1980

Mary Cook News Archives — The Wool Industry 1982

The Moldowans —- Mary Cook News Archives 1982

Clippings of Cheryl Coker — Mary Cook News Archives

Donald Lowry …. Mary Cook News Archives

1976 Agricultural Tour — Mary Cook News Archives

The Man Known as D.K. Findlay–David Findlay

The Man Known as D.K. Findlay–David Findlay
David Findlay, one of the Carleton Place clan, famous for the stoves they’ve been manufactured for a century or so. In 1942 he left law for literature. Writing had been paying him for a long time. It kept him, his wife, two boys and two girls very nicely, indeed. I had a hard time finding his work until I realized he went under the name of D.K. Findlay.
“I was at Osgoode Hall when I sent a story to the Canadian Magazine and they paid me $4 for it”, he said.  “And they asked for more. This was wonderful. I kept on writing and I had the great, good luck to tie in with a first class agent in New York Sydney Sanders. He took very real interest in Canadian writers, and was a personal friend of the Saturday Evening Post people and helped me tremendously.”
In 1933, David Findlay made the goal of most short story writers. The Saturday Evening Post accepted and paid him $500 for what he calls a “He and She” story.  He sold many stories to the Post, Colliers, American and Red Book.  He was also at the time in 1958 correcting proofs on “Her Subliminal Mind”, a topical effort that will appeared in the Saturday Evening Post.
He had a year in the British Isles and on the continent after he graduated from University of Toronto. He wheeled his way and through France gave him background for “Search For Amelia”, his first full length novel.  He was in England as a freelance writer with a loose contract with Maclean’s Magazine and he also got around the air fields a lot and that gave me more background for the book. His younger brother, “Jock”, one of the original night ‘fighter pilots of 406 Squadron was killed in 1941.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Sep 1941, Tue  •  Page 4

David held a pilot’s licence and many ideas of love and adventure are borne on the wings of flight. What about habits of work? “I work through the morning from nine to one and I hate to be interrupted”, he said.” I’m not worth a hoot at the typewriter in the afternoon but like to go back in the evenings. It’s absolutely imperative. If you are going to be professional writer, you need to develop habit of work. Why hadn’t more of his stuff appeared in Canadian publications? “Just no market here for short stories”, he said. Macleans is about the only publication that brings out fresh stories and pays good prices. .
images (9)
It’s been my experience that the United States magazines have absolutely no prejudice against Canadian writers. And if their stories have a Canadian background they’re quite happy about that? What about the future of the short story? . . “Look at history”, David Findlay said. “Story telling is one of the world’s oldest professions. Stories have been read for four or five hundred years. People have always wanted them and the movies, radio and television clamour for them.”

Odes to Steve Sherman


This morning Steve Sherman’s wife Kathleen emailed to say that Steve passed away on Thursday from cancer. Most of you would have known him as Another Steve on Open Salon and Steve S. on Zoomers Canada. Since Open Salon closed, Steve has always been part of an internet foursome which included: Tink, myself and Creekend UK.  It wasn’t really the writing that kept us together; it was our friendship which was always the main course, and we shared our lives on a pretty regular basis.

So, today I celebrate the life and writings of Steve Sherman with all of you. I have posted his favourite blog, and his very last. I am going to miss you sweet friend. To quote Bill T. Jones: ‘Living and dying is not the big issue. The big issue is what you’re going to do with your time while you are here.”  Steve, you spent it well, and I am proud to say you were my friend. The world will miss you, and I miss you already. 




The, ahem, Mature Employee
Open Salon will disappear from cyberspace over then next two weeks, according to Salon Media Corporation. Jason and I published blogs on Open Salon in a time long ago and a place far away when blogs and bloggers were a big deal.
In memory of those times, I am sharing my best post from Open Salon. This was my personal favorite. Other people must have liked it as well; it generated over 58,000 unique views.
With Apologies to Lewis Carroll and Robert Southey
“You are old, My Employee,” the young Boss said,
“And your beard has become very white;
And yet you show up every morning for work—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“Your great age,” The Boss continued in fun,
“I feared it might injure your creativity;
But now that I’m perfectly sure you have none,
I need staff a bit nearer their nativity.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “your potential too flat
For projects beyond the straight line;
Yet you act as a mentor to our most promising staff,
With their respect, which by rights should be mine!”

“In my youth,” said The Employee, “I took to my work,
And each day I increased knowledge deep”;
While in his mind ran the thought, “This is all for naught.
It’s my last day to work for this creep.”

“We have talked for two minutes, and that is enough,”
Said The Boss; “You have wasted our air!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Here’s a bag, pack your things, Now Downstairs!”


Lewis Carroll inserted his “Father William” verse into “Alice in Wonderland” as the caterpillar’s required recitation. Carroll’s nonsense verse was a parody of a moralizing verse by Robert Southey. Today, Southey is remembered for little other than being the object of this parody.
In a sense, my verse is a parody of a parody.

I wish my poem was nothing beyond a nonsense parody. Alas, I have lived through The Employee’s experience. As I am sure have many others





Photo by Steve Sherman on Zoomers: Eschscholzia Californica- April 29, 2014 at 6:57pm


When I’m Feeling Sadly I Find a Song and Play it Badly
Posted by Steve S
on April 10, 2015 at 11:00pm

It’s music that does the best to pick me up when I am down. Irish Whiskey, bourbon and beer are tied for second.

Isaiah was quoted in the bible as saying,”Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Although he always struck me as an old grouch, I always liked that.

When I feel down, I like to play a little music. I try to do that when no one else is around, since I am not a great musician. Most of the music I like to play is old. It varies from old hippie era to Renaissance era.

I have spent most of 2015 dealing with a painful health problem. After a discouraging doctor appointment I stopped at a local music store and bought a ukulele. I’ve played winds for years but I decided it was about time I learned a string instrument.The uke has gotten me through some painful times (for me and anyone within listening distance) and I am starting to figure it out. The uke has also pushed me into singing, which I gave up when an puberty made me a bass voice.


From his wife Kathleen:

After a gracious journey down this last, difficult length of his life’s path, Steve died on Thursday. Thank you all for the many ways you walked that journey with us. I am grateful for the love and support each of you gave, as was Steve.

Steve believed that you live while people remember you. So…

“Say not in grief that he is no more, but say in thankfulness that he was. A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come” ~Rabindranath Tagore.


Where You Can Buy My Books


I have had several people email me this morning asking where you can buy my books. I guess I’m not very pushy because I seldom put my links on the bottom of my stories, but it is in my bio on the bottom of each story.

So here are the details– I have 6 books out and a new one will be out soon. It will be a compilation of all the stories I have written about Carleton Place and Lanark County the past year.

What the Hell Do You Really Know About Lyle Dillabough?



This is Lyle and Jennifer Fenwick Irwin when we had the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum picnic last year. I have heard many stories about Lyle, but never met him personally until a few years ago.

Lyle is not your average bear musician. Soft spoken, kind, and has a well rounded knowledge of Carleton Place. He knows more than you think he knows, trust me. I have had a few discussions with Lyle now and love listening to his stories about the area. I personally call myself the National Enquirer reporter of local history, but Lyle is the real deal.

Lyle has a new book out and does Tales from the Troubador on Valley Heritage radioSupport someone who has stood tall in our community and remains one of the most popular storytellers in our area. Love you Lyle!



Holiday Greeting from Someone Who Writes too Much


If you know me you get way too many Facebook notifications and emails. I write too much and really can’t really stop. I guess I’m on a mission to get the word out there. The word is– live for each second, and don’t miss a thing, because if you blink, just once– it could all go away in a minute’s notice.

Be thankful for one more day that is added to your life. Enjoy the morning light, and the moonlight, life isn’t meaningless. Even though my opinions may be opposite to yours, I try to understand. Though our ways may differ, they come from the same place, our hearts. Sometimes in life you might have to start over. Keep fighting- as it’s all about surviving. We just can’t worry life away now–time is fleeting. No matter what you celebrate–enjoy the day, and hug your family. Each minute is worth it!

Photo of the Knight Family 1956 Cowansville, Quebec.

Arthur and Bunny Knight (parents)

Fred and Mary Knight (grandparents)

Linda Knight (me)

Baby Robin Knight

All have succumbed to cancer, except me. So I write to keep memories alive. At this point in my life it seems to be everyones:)

To quote  Max Keeping on Angelo’s Obituary: “Cancer is Such a Bully”!  May we send our love in droves to Max as well as our families.