Wednesday, March 10, 2010

He Left Them Laughing When He Said Good-bye ... a Good Read

      Grant MacEwan is a prolific Alberta author who wrote about agriculture and western Canadian  history. I've read quite few of MacEwan's books and find them informative and interesting. My wife really likes MacEwan's stories.

        Grant MacEwan was born in 1902 and raised in Saskatchewan. He was very interested in agriculture and took an agriculture degree. He was Dean of Agriculture at the University of Alberta where he published an number of books on various agriculture topics. He was also Mayor of Calgary , Alberta and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. He was a busy active man who found time to research and write about much of Alberta's history.

       I recently read He Left Them Laughing When He Said Good-bye. It's the story of an young Irish lawyer who comes to Calgary in 1883 when Calgary is very new. Paddy Nolan set up a law practice, but his real claim to fame was as an orator, and raconteur. Nolan was witty, humorous and a credible actor. His law practice was mainly in criminal defence and he had a good record of getting clients off with his rather creative defence strategies.

     Paddy Nolan was active politically although he only ran in one election and did not win. However, Nolan met all the strong characters active in public affairs in Alberta  at that time.

     MacEwan tells an interesting story of Paddy's activities and along the way describes a very interesting character. While MacEwan is describing Nolan he manages to tell us much of Alberta's early history. MacEwan leaves you wanting to know more about Alberta's early history.