I've read a few book on the history of our fair city before, but nothing, nothing, like this one! Check out the author's biography, from the old book's dust jacket:
[Alan Morley]graduated from Pendicton High School and worked as a miner in the Kettle Valley. After a year in the University of British Columbia he spent 10 itinerant years as ranch hand, lake boat roustabout, railway brakeman, hard rock miner, deep-sea deckhand, construction worker, logger and hand-line fisherman.Here's a man who's been around the block a few times. I wonder how many journalists working today at that same paper have had half as many previous careers beyond their being "journalists". Much as we might wish politicians started a business or two (or five) before venturing into houses of parliament or congress and handling our money, if only our teachers in the media would live the kind of life we live before setting themselves on their pedestal and begin pointing their fingers in our direction while keeping the gates closed. "You wouldn't know what's important", they would assure us; "you're only a laborer."
Returning to take his degree at UBC in history and English, he financed his way through as a reporter for the Vancouver Sun....
There's much to be said for the perspective that multiple careers can bring to one's current job. Not multiple jobs within a single career, but multiple careers, doing completely different kinds of jobs. Speaking for myself, I'm on career number three, on the verge of it evolving into number four. Even though there has not been much direct connection between those paths, they nevertheless do possess enough parallels and general similarities that today I regret not a single hour spent in any of them, for the perspective they have granted me in journeying through the current one.
I suspect author Alan Morely felt the same way about his years with axe and workboots, before settling down to become a wordsmith. His writing crackles with the evidence of his physical past, and it enlivens the historical account in a way no mere haunter of libraries could imagine. His calloused hands build a much more human narrative than the manicured academics can offer. It pays to live life before one writes about it.
This is one of the ingredients that makes reading bloggers so enlightening, for me anyway. It is their multiple perspectives accumulated from multiple journeys, frequently having nothing to do with journeys of our own, enabling us see the world around us from radically new points of view. It is part of our wiring as human beings to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of fellow humans, and imagine the scenes they see as they plant their feet along the paths they travel. Yet, is it not also true, that it remains nevertheless a challenge to imagine how differently that pathway may be from our own, the full scope of how different one person's experiences may be from another's. When you meet new people, part of the thrill is discovering just how differently they make you see yourself.
Every week a hardy few bloggers and blog readers gather and meet within the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library. We meet to broaden the discussions begun at our various blogs, to compare notes and, as occasion permits, take united action to help revive the slumbering agreement Canadians such as Sewell Moody, "Gassy" Jack Deighton, and James Dunsmuir, used to further the nation's possible destiny. A gathering of like-minded colleagues trading experiences and debating lessons learned from them.
Like, yet not same; the only real similarity tends to be the united belief that change is needed, and remains possible; the same faith that 100 years earlier, felled the majestic 2o0-foot long trees to clear our land, to remake the natural order with the stamp of man's labor.
Each week we gather in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, to pursue a new Covenant for Canada. Please join us...
it's time for your new career.