The Wastell family had much to contend with on a daily basis. Besides running a sawmill and surviving in very un-genteel circumstances, Norris's mother, a registered nurse, was the only source of medical help in the community. Not surprisingly, she had to treat all types of ailments ranging from pneumonia to severed fingers and deliver numerous babies in all sorts of conditions. The sawmill's tugboat often had to serve double duty as an emergency ambulance.
It was not an easy life or childhood for Norris and her younger sister, but it was an exciting one. She never learned how to ride a bicycle, but she could row a skiff or hook a runaway log as well as any grownup. As kids, Norris and her sister ventured out in an open boat with a 2 hp engine to salvage wood, all the time contending with tides and unpredictable weather. They grew up in a world of kelp dolls and killer whales and a very odd assortment of West Coast eccentrics, new Canadians with little English, mill workers, coastal drifters in leaky boats and jacks-of-all-trades from the streets of Vancouver.
Norris's memoir, full of humour, hardship, and remarkable events is "one of the more charming and insightful portraits we have yet had of upcoast life between the wars, a busy and colourful period justifiably described as the golden age of the BC coast."
About the authors
Pat Wastell Norris was carried aboard her father's tugboat before she could walk, and has been addicted to salt air ever since. The author of Time and Tide: A History of Telegraph Cove, (Raincoast Chronicles 16) the bestselling High Seas, High Risk: The Story of the Sudburys and High Boats: A Century of Salmon Remembered, Norris now lives in Vancouver BC.
Howard White was born in 1945 in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He was raised in a series of camps and settlements on the BC coast and never got over it. He is still to be found stuck barnacle-like to the shore at Pender Harbour, BC. He started Raincoast Chronicles and Harbour Publishing in the early 1970s and his own books include A Hard Man to Beat (bio), The Men There Were Then (poems), Spilsbury's Coast (bio), The Accidental Airline (bio), Patrick and the Backhoe (childrens`), Writing in the Rain (anthology) and The Sunshine Coast (travel). He was awarded the Canadian Historical Association's Career Award for Regional History in 1989. In 2000, he completed a ten-year project, The Encyclopedia of British Columbia. He has been awarded the Order of BC, the Canadian Historical Association's Career Award for Regional History, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award and a Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from the University of Victoria. In 2007, White was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has twice been runner-up in the Whisky Slough Putty Man Triathlon.
Other titles by Pat Wastell Norris
Other titles by Howard White
Here on the Coast
Reflections from the Rainbelt
A Mysterious Humming Noise
Celebrating 100 Years of Al Purdy
Writing in the Rain
Raincoast Chronicles 23
Harbour Publishing 40th Anniversary Edition
The Airplane Ride
Raincoast Chronicles Fourth Five
Raincoast Chronicles 18
The Sunshine Coast
From Gibsons to Powell River