Monday, 19 March 2012

guest BLOG by PWAC B.C. member, Lyn Hancock ...

APRIL 19-28
and her 20th book
the story of Sam and Jane Livingston, Calgary's first settlers
Hi, fellow PWACers,
I'm on my way to your side of the mountains to present the culmination of a multi-decade history project on a family that I call the Forsyte Saga of Canada. A story that I feel merits some screenwriter to make into a documentary or feature film and where better to begin than in the Prairies or the North?
Can I tempt you with home-made bannock and buffalo jerky, Metis music, arts and crafts, photo displays and archival documents, slides, readings and lively conversation at one of my presentations in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff or Airdrie (schedule below) to hear about it? Of course, you can always buy the book or ask your library for it. And if you visit my blog The Perils of Self Publishing at you'll find that the story of how it came to be is as tumultuous as the history of its hero and heroine. Actually, you could write a novel on how my website came to be and perhaps that tears-and-laughter drama could enfold over wine, coffee or a beer? And perhaps the ongoing saga of The Perils of Self Promotion to be written in a future blog.
Sam Livingston was a flamboyant Irish immigrant, a gold prospector (Forty-niner), buffalo hunter, fur trader and pioneer farmer who walked and rode across the American prairie from Livingston, Wisconsin (named after the family) to the California gold rush, up to the Rockies to the Northwest Territories, Fort Edmonton and finally made his home in what was to be Fort Calgary. Meanwhile, Jane Howse, a Metis girl from the Red River Colony and the granddaughter of Joseph Howse, the first HBC factor to cross the Rockies (Howse Pass) and build the first fur trading post, rode a Red River cart across the Canadian prairie to meet and marry Sam in Fort Victoria.
They had 14 children and their 13th child, unlucky Sam Livingston 11, died at 25, forcing his widow to give up their son, Sam Livingston 111, for adoption. His name was changed to Sam Letourneau. Lost for 64 years and never learning his true identity, he discovered his roots serendipitously in 1986 by reading a review in the Alberta Report onTell me, Grandmother, my precursor to The Ring. The magic of books. Read the website blog.
You'll find the Livingston name on many Calgary landmarks, a school, a fish hatchery, a federal building, two skyscrapers, a nature trail, the Big House in Heritage Park, a sculpture of his head at the airport - and even a beer. The Howse name is remembered in a river, a mountain and a mountain pass. Yet Tell me, Grandmother and The Ring are the only books written on this should-be-famous family. I don't want to write a screenplay but would you?
So it would be a privilege to see some of you in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff or Airdrie at a presentation or a private place. Anyone want to help with serving bannock and buffalo? If not, you can check out the book at Audrey's in Edmonton, or the Glenbow Museum, Fort Calgary, Heritage Park, Owl's Nest Books, Page's, or Monkeyshines in Calgary.
Yes, I am trying to bridge the generation gap. The book begins with the picture of one of Sam and Jane's great grandchildren playing with an orphan gibbon ape who spent a year with them in my grade six classroom in Victoria, BC. And that's how an animal book (for which I am mostly known..An Ape Came out of my Hatbox and Gypsy in the Classroom) led to a history book The Ring: Memories of a Metis Grandmother.
There's something for everybody as you can see in the schedule below. The one private presentation is on Sunday April 22 at the Beverley Centre long term care facility in Midnapore.
And now a picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Such are my lack of skills at the computer that you may find them inserted below or above on the attachment line. But don't forget to look at the schedule. Thanks for listening. And thanks if you can spread the word to media and your significant others!

For the complete schedule of Lyn's tour visit ...

No comments:

Post a Comment