The Open Book, Williams Lake, BC
The research trip to Williams Lake was an expedition. I woke in the morning to an unusual snow fall that covered my driveway. No buses were running in my town and I had to get to the ferry. I shovelled out my driveway and drove over unplowed roads to the ferry where I left my car. I took the ferry, a taxi to the sea bus, the sea bus, then the rail line to the main airport, then the shuttle bus to the south terminal. I felt I’d had an adventure before I even boarded the plane.. I love flying in small planes. This one seated about ten on each side of an aisle. We all had a window view except the person in the lone middle seat in the back. The pilot escorted us onto the plane, stowed our luggage, showed us our seats, closed the door and then attended to flying. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I saw the ten thousand-feet Coast Mountains, then Fraser River, then the vast Cariboo Plateau. The taxi I had ordered was waiting which was lucky s there were no cabs available the next day. With only one cab company in the area, they occasionally take a day off. I had research to do quite close to the hotel the next day so didn’t need a cab but the following day I had to get to the newspaper office down town and that was the day the taxis were not available “Closed today.” The message on the phone said. I stood up in the breakfast room to ask for a ride to town and had two offers. I guess that’s how you get around here.
Cassie and Katie at the Cariboo Museum had a cart-load of material ready for me to study. It was fascinating and so was the conversations we had about life in and around Williams Lake in the past. I met a well-known local writer, Sage Birchwater, that afternoon for a long conversation about local people and places. The next morning at The Tribune office Monica had the bound copies of the years 1975 and 1976 Tribune papers ready for me. I could have stayed there all day reading through the papers and finding references to incidences I mention in my next book and reminders of what I was doing in those days. “A C.H.C. (Child Health Conference) will be held in Horsefly on such and such a date at 3:45.” That was my clinic.
The Open Book, the huge local book store, had invited me to sign books in the afternoon. I walked there as it wasn’t far from The Tribune office. I settled in front of a table they had set up and stayed there for two hours talking too all who came—and there were many. It was wonderful to see old friends and new readers. The owner of the store Angela Liard and her mother Joanne Liard took me out for dinner. We had a lovely time. I remember when Joanne started her store so many years ago. Today, Angela owns it and it is huge and right in the heart of the town. Now, I am back home and living with all that information I collected swirling around in my head and and busy creating a story about living in the Cariboo in the mid-seventies.
I an undecided about the title but my latest idea is Beyond the Job Description: A Nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
If you have an idea for a title, I’d be happy to take suggestions. Write me at email@example.com
Writing also as Emma Dakin