Sto­ries beget sto­ries dur­ing Christ­mas book launch

The Victoria Standard - - Local News - BAD­DECK

Bre­ton Books pub­lisher Ron Ca­plan launched the lat­est edi­tion of Cape Bre­ton’s Christ­mas at Alder­wood on Dec. 12, the fifth in a col­lec­tion that be­gan in 2014. A por­tion of book sales are do­nated to Feed Nova Sco­tia.

Di­rec­tor of Recre­ation Gwynn Shaw read aloud, “Lit­tle Sto­ries from Alder­wood”, writ­ten by Alder­wood res­i­dents Ruth Macleod, Ross Mathe­son, Shirley Hughes and Chris­tena Ge­orge.

The sto­ries jogged peo­ple’s Christ­mas­time me­mories.

Eve­lyn Ma­caulay re­mem­bered get­ting peanuts “in the shell” on Christ­mas morn­ing.

Ruth Macleod re­called a tale re­counted to her by a deck hand on a boat called the Lake­view that de­liv­ered ne­ces­si­ties to Buck­law where she grew up on a farm.

“The sheep aboard the boat es­caped. There was ice in the har­bour. The sheep swam un­der the ice. The deck hands gath­ered them all on the shore and dried them out in the fur­nace room. And they were none the worse for it.”

“It was a good story, but a lit­tle far-fetched,” laughed Ruth.

“A farm girl would know that when the sheep got wet, they were not go­ing to come up again,” replied Ca­plan.

Ca­plan has been asked over the years how he feels when some­one is telling him a far­fetched story.

“My an­swer al­ways was…as long as it's well told…i'm not a fact-checker… I'm glad to col­lect those sto­ries as long as they are well told. I do like the truth, but I do like get­ting what we would call 'his­tory'. I know that there is great value in the peo­ple that can tell a good story."

Ca­plan has many Christ­mas sto­ries of his own. He moved to Cape Bre­ton from Pitts­burgh in 1971. Not long after, he launched Cape Bre­ton Magazine. His work on the magazine meant there was sel­dom a lonely Christ­mas.

“I met so many sto­ry­tellers I could just walk in on at any time.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ca­plan, it takes very lit­tle to tell a good Christ­mas story.

“It can sim­ply be lit­tle flashes of some­thing. Per­haps some­thing as sim­ple as what your par­ents did, or didn’t do.”

To pur­chase a copy of Cape Bre­ton's Christ­mas, visit cape­bre­ton­books.com.

Pub­lisher Ron Ca­plan at Alder­wood.

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