Yesterday, we hosted the Ernest Buckler Literary Event Society (EBLES) evening at the Temple in Bridgetown. Highlights included the NFB film by Chuck Lapp Inner Mountains, Inner Valleys starring RH Thompson. This set the scene, giving us a biography of Buckler’s life. Later in the program, we listened to readings by Ken Maher, Anne Crossman and a play “A Glance in the Mirror‘, featuring Ken Maher, Gordon Keel and Gloria Saesura.
The Buckler theme was complemented by the works of other writers: John deMont, Whit Fraser ‘from away’ and local authors: Marilyn Jones_Bent, Dianne Hankinson LeGard and Bob Bent. After dinner, we enjoyed the music of Kim Doolittle and Caleb Miles. Altogether, a very full afternoon and evening.
One last story, related to the event. On Friday, Heather and I were in Windsor to pick up a couple of rain barrels. We stopped at the Readers’ Haven, a second-hand bookstore in town. I found a copy of John DeMont’s earlier book The Last Best Place (1998). In Part one: Dreams, Legends and the Meaning of Place.
On page 11 from Ernest Buckler:
There was a strange sound of stillness
about it all. As if pine needles and
dead leaves and the grey rocks
and the clean-smelling brook
with the pole bridge they
passed over were all singing
together a quiet song,
like the drowsy hum
of wires or of bees.
This morning, we decided to drive down memory lane. We took the Morse Road from Bridgetown to West Dalhousie. We wanted to see again the Buckler home which we had rented in 1980 from Bill O’Neill. Afterwards, we drove along the old gravel road to Perotte. We stopped at the graveyard by Gibson’s Lake and found the Ernest Buckler headstone. We noticed along the graveyard fence, scratchings in the sand, evidence of turtle nests.
As we drove to Perotte, we stopped several times to avoid large, adult snapping turtles. This, again, reminded us of last night, and Ernest Buckler.
Once in Annapolis Royal, we stopped at Lola’s for a traditional, full English breakfast. We then completed the loop and returned home on Highway #201.
For the more energetic, you might want to read Kent Thompson’s Getting Out of Town by book or bike. He describes the Buckler circuit as one of the best bicycle rides in the province. Along the way, he reflects on Buckler’s writing and life.
When you take the Morse Road, you may hear the fervent conversations about the loss of forest cover and its impact on the wildlife and birds. It is likely the Extinction Rebellion.
To my fellow EBLES Board members: Jane Borecky, Anne Crossman, John Montgomerie, Nancy Godfrey. To Heather Stewart on turtle watch for CARP. Edward Wedler for his contribution.
EBLES Reading Where We Live: A Celebration of Local Writing. June 29, 2019.
John DeMont. 1998. The Last Best Place: Lost in the Heart of Nova Scotia. Doubleday Canada.
Kent Thompson. 2001. Getting Out of Town by Book and Bike. Gaspereau Press.