life rattle show no. 1167
Presented on Sunday, August 28, 2011
Hosted by John Dunford
Tonight, as summer vacation draws to a close, Life Rattle #1167 brings you two Life Rattle summertime classics.
Tonight’s first story, “Muskellunge,” was written by Vic Gayesheyongai.
Vic Gayesheyongai was born in 1957 in Little Creek, Ontario, on Manitoulin Island. Vic, the second eldest of 4 children, moved with his family to Espanola when he was six. When Vic was eight years old his parents divorced. His mother met another man in Espanola, had a child with him, then the family moved to Kapuskasing for two years before moving, for a while, to Thessalon, Ontario. Vic's mother left their step-father, and took three children to Blind River, Ontario, where Vic and his younger brother and sister stayed with a white foster family. Vic's elder sister moved to Toronto.
In 1973, Vic, his brother, both sisters and mother moved back to the Birch Island Reserve on Manitoulin Island. Vic took the bus to Espanola daily to finish his high school. After high school, Vic came to Toronto with $180 dollars in his pocket. He rented a room near Spadina and Bloor, and got a job at a car park. Vic stayed for about a year then moved back to the reserve for the summer. He returned to Toronto, worked for another year, went to George Brown College for a one-year electrical and mechanical drafting program. Afterward, he worked as a bike courier, then as a driver for Canadian Linen. In 1989, Vic took a writing class at George Brown College, where he met Arnie Achtman.
Arnie Achtman described Vic Gayesheyongai's stories as subtle and gentle, full of everyday details that glide by effortlessly. They feel like being in a canoe without paddling, drifting along a river. You observe the scenery, time passes, and then you notice that you have arrived at some place different than where you started.
The second story you will hear on Life Rattle tonight, “The Bike,” was written by Elizabeth Clark.
Elizabeth Clark, the second of six children, was born in 1961, in Campbellford, Ontario, a small farming community two hours northeast of Toronto. Clark left home in 1981 to attend Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough. She switched programs three times before graduating with diplomas in General Arts and Science and Correctional Work in 1985. While attending college she met and moved in with her partner Peter.
After graduation, Clark worked in group homes for a few years then returned to Fleming to study nursing. She graduated in 1991, then moved to Toronto where she worked as a nurse in hospitals and private health care until 2002 when she and Peter purchased her family home and returned to Campbellford.
Elizabeth Clark works as a full-time registered nurse at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. She spends her free time gardening, renovating her old family home, and studying alternative healing. She currently writes poetry and free verse at email@example.com.