Candy Cigarettes’ -a trip back to the 50’s and 60’s

If you were one of those people lucky enough to grow up in the 1950’s and 60’s when life was a real as it seemed, then you have to read Roger Bell’s newest book -Candy Cigarettes’ published by Black Moss Press.

The North Simcoe author’s memoirs open a precious time capsule that will have you laughing, crying and cherishing long forgotten memories and events that you or someone close to you has experienced. Bell has the ability to involve readers in colourful scenarios depicting his most personal childhood situations -a unique literary talent which opens a flood of happy and sad memories for those who remember the era and transition to important life changes.

The series of short, unrelated chapters describing his childhood from the early age of 3 to 18 years of age, take place in Port Elgin Ontario -a small farming and summer tourist town where he grew up. The memoir includes everything from fall fairs, young romances and cherry bombs to bad hockey experiences, an arena and grass fire, the opening of the first 365 day a year general store and the robbery of milk money from the bottles on the front step.

“The town totally changed in complexion from summer to winter and my goal was to capture the town and me before I went to university when everything changed,” said Bell an accomplished poet/writer who has published seven books.

“I wanted to capture what it was like while growing up there and the book finishes when my parents took me to the University of Western Ontario. It was written with no chronological or narrative thrust. One of my earliest memories includes the death of my paternal grandfather James Bell and moments on his farm -an original log farmhouse built in 1842. He lived there until the 1950’s. I write about the sectioned


raisin cookies he sometimes hid in the woodshed for me to find and sitting on his lap playing with his pocket watch. In 1954 I remember the actual storm and saw the damage from Hurricane Hazel, Canada’s Centennial Year in 1967 and a class trip to the west coast.”

Bell is one of the three talented authors speaking at the Midland Library

Spring Readings’ beginning with Richard Zurawski on Thursday April 14th and followed by poet Ellen Jaffe on Friday April 15th , with Bell on Saturday, April 16th -all readings to take place at 7 p.m. at the library. The Three authors will all be introducing their most recent publications including Zurawski’s Media Mediocrity – Waging War Against Science’ and Jaffe’s Feast of Lights’. Both authors will be speaking at the local high schools in the Midland earlier in the day. For information call the Midland Library at 705-526-4216.

Roger Bell is a Tay Township area resident who has lived in the area for 36 years. He moved to Huronia to teach High School English and retired in 2004. Bell started a serious writing career in 1997 after publishing Luke and the Wolfe’ -a BS Poetry chapbook under 40 pages but says opportunity actually got him started with Mythtakes’ in 1984 published by Whizzyfig Press after winning a competition. Black Moss Press has published five books including Real Lives’ in 1997, When the Devil Calls’ in 2000, Henry’s Creatures’ in 2000, Larger than Life’ in 2002, The Pissing Women of Lafontaine’ in 2005 and Bell’s last book You Tell Me’ published in 2009, which is all stories that were told to home and translated into poetry.

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