Friday, February 11, 2011

WO Mitchell

Ok. This blog entry is a mixed bag of reactions to life. First off, thanks to the many kind readers who sent me email notes of encouragement during my most time of convalescence from cancer surgery. Trust me - it all helped, and its really good to be back in the saddle again.

I found this scultpured bust of WO Mitchell, on Al Stinson's website. Please click here to view this and other works by Al.

Al created two busts. One can be seen in Calgary's Max Bell Theatre and the other in the University of Sasktachewan Library. I am moved by this, for I have long considered WO Mitchell one of my favourite Canadian writers.

WO, was from High River, Alberta but he also lived in Calgary and Weyburn Saskatchewan. I recall once sitting in a restaurant in High River and telling a waitress that I was thrilled to visit WO's home town. She looked at me quizically and I repeated..."W.O. Mitchell, the famous Canadian writer."
She shrugged and responded; "Never heard of him."

I wrote it off and a couple of years later in a restaurant in Peterborough I met a Trent University student from High River, Alberta. So, I told her the story and she gave me the same vacant look, and comment, "Sorry, but I have never heard of him either."

I looked at my wife later and asked, "How can a university student grow up in a town and not know such a legendary Canadian author? Did none of the teacher's ever read his works to her? Has the town failed to immortalize the memory of this man?"

Its time for High River, to name a school after W.O., and to erect a statue to WO's memory in the town park.

Anyway, if they are looking for an sculptor to do the job, Al's the man to call.

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