Looking Back, Moving On

By Father’s Day my dad’s apartment was empty. In the days since his passing in May, my sibs and I discovered many things there, things that, of course, brought back memories — happy ones over many years helping blur more difficult, recent ones.

The two items pictured in this post are a reflection of a mutual pride that existed between my dad and me. Both capture something important to us from early in our respective careers.

Here is the first vehicle my dad owned that advertised Powell’s Appliance Service, the business he established in 1961. It was a gutsy move, with a wife and three kids to support, to leave the company he was working for to run his own show, but he managed to do it and do it well, for 35 years before retiring.

Station Wagon

I made a gutsy move too, when I decided not to return to teaching when my kids were young, but to pursue a career as a writer instead. I had no idea at the time just how gutsy, but I managed to make my choice work well, too. The items pictured here are from a 1983 article in The Etobicoke Guardian and an interview, “Meet the Author’s Children,” that appeared in a 1984 issue of The Children’s Book News.

Author's Children

The interviewer, by the way, was Peter Carver, who worked as publications editor and tour coordinator at The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Little did I know, the day he interviewed my kids, that he didn’t just think readers would be interested in an interview with the kids who had inspired Red is Best and Big Or Little? It was also part of his plan to woo me!

I guess it worked. We celebrated 33 years together last week. And of course, on Sunday, we raised a glass to the memory of our dads, too.

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson

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