E-mail Messages from Richard Berrow

British Columbia

Re: Tatum Family Series

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Revisiting the Tatum Family: Regional Books by Ruth and Latrobe Carroll

Subject:  Tatum Family Books

Date sent:  Tuesday, 4 Nov 2003  13:49:29-0800

Dear Ms. Teaford,

I'm very pleased to find your two papers on the Tatum Family books on the internet. I didn't read these books as a child but happened on a couple of them by chance in our local library here in New Westminster, British Columbia. My children (8 and 4) are both very keen on them, and I'm hoping to locate the others in the series. They remind me in some ways of the way of life in rural B.C. where I lived as a child in the '60s, and even more of my Dad's recollections of boyhood in the backwoods of Vancouver Island in the '30s, a world that's gone forever without having been recorded very much in fiction at all. These books have a lot of merit as literature and although they're very particular as to time and place that somehow makes them more accessible.

I'll be looking for some of the other books that you and your colleagues have listed on the AppLit website.

Thank you for making this information available.

Regards, Richard Berrow

New Westminster, BC


Subject:  Tatum Family Books

Date sent:  Wednesday, 5 Nov 2003  18:12:50-0800

Dear Ms. Teaford & Ms. Hanlon,

How nice to hear back from you both. Yes, by all means feel free to put my e mail on the AppLit web site.

AppLit is among the best literary resources that I've seen on the web and obviously a lot of work to keep going, and a credit to you and your colleagues.

I am sorry to say that none of the libraries in BC (at least those that are on the interlibrary loan system) appear to hold any of the May Justus books that Ms. Hanlon kindly recommended -- they do sound very interesting -- but I will try looking a little further afield.

I hope to visit the mountains in your part of the continent one day. Here in BC the oldest library (the one we belong to) dates from 1865, and your roots go back a long way indeed if your family came out before 1900. Originally the population was almost entirely British, along with aboriginal and oriental minorities. An odd historical fact is that for a few years after the Fraser River gold rush in 1858 the majority of the population was actually American, and the colonial government had to work very hard to maintain sovereignty and to keep the peace among the miners and prospectors. That must have been a very interesting period. We have a few memoirs from that time but no fiction of any consequence.

My Dad grew up dirt poor in a beautiful place called the Cowichan Valley, near Duncan, BC, on the banks of the Koksilah River. I don't envy him the hardships of his youth, but he has very happy memories of running his trap line, hunting deer illegally all year with a single shot 22, and chasing cougars along the ridge tops in the moonlight, following his hound, hoping to tree the cougar (without letting it kill the dog). There was a bounty on the cougars, which were almost wiped out, but have now come back, to the point where you have to be quite careful with small children in the woods in that part of the province.

Best regards, Richard Berrow

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