My friend Terry and I just spent the most wonderful Sunday afternoon listening to and meeting authors in a pastoral farm setting that was total escapism. We’d read and loved books by Catherine Gildiner and Plum Johnson, were familiar with Terry O’Reilly’s CBC broadcasts about the advertising biz, and were introduced to an author unfamiliar to us, Trevor Cole.
As book lovers, we couldn’t have imagined a better afternoon. After driving through farm country about ninety minutes north of Toronto on Highway 10, we drove into Pegram Farm, a restored farm that reminiscent of a scene from Anne of Green Gables. The large brick farmhouse was surrounded by giant Manitoba maples and rolling fields, and the barn had been completely restored to function as an event facility. About two hundred people were seated inside the barn with warm sunlight and gentle breezes filtering through cracks in the barnboard.
The event, hosted by Mulmur Township and Shelburne Public Library, was a first-time venture. Each of the authors read a passage from their book and later responded to a question and answer session. Following the main event, we were invited into the loft to taste local gourmet h’ors d’oeuvres and beverages. Catherine Gildiner has authored a three-volume memoir that is a Baby Boomer’s dream read. Smart, funny and exceptionally adept at being in the most exciting places at the right time, Gildiner entertained us with her true-life stories of growing up in the fifties and sixties. Her reminiscences describe experiences many of us could relate to and some we could only wish we’d had.
Plum Johnson wrote They Left Us Everything, an account of dealing with the detritus of clearing out her parents’ home after they passed away. Located at the foot of Trafalgar Road in Oakville, Ontario, the house is not only architecturally unusual but was the home where her parents lived for sixty years and raised five children. Written with empathy and humour, it is a record of a process that Johnson expected to take six weeks and turned into two years, with plenty of introspection and soul-searching thrown in.
While I’d never read anything by Trevor Cole, his animated and colourful reading from Hope Makes Love, a fictional novel about a baseball player’s divorce and attempts to redeem himself, prompted me to add his name to my “To Read” list. Terry O’Reilly is familiar for his informed presentations on CBC radio about the history and behind-the-scenes take on the advertising industry. Since my friend and I come from advertising and marketing backgrounds in business we both loved his stories about experiences in the trenches.
Unfortunately for BOOMERBROADcast readers, this event has already taken place but I’m writing about it to encourage you to pick up books by these authors. Or, if they’re ever signing books or speaking in your area, do not miss hearing and meeting them. These books would make excellent gifts for your fellow Baby Boomers and they’ll thank you for introducing them to these authors. Click on each book for a link to Amazon: