Out of the blue last week, I got a phone call at work from someone I had never talked to before, but had heard about. He is an old friend of the family. He was calling to tell me that he had made a CD of pictures for us. This was very exciting news for us. I love it when things like that happen. I know there is a word for it but I can’t think of it. Maybe serendipity?
It makes me think that there is a grand design, a huge puzzle of life and eventually all of the pieces get filled in. Sometimes it takes years or even generations but they do get filled and completed. A little dramatic? Sorry, but a little drama is great. Spirit is even greater.
Many, many moons ago, as far back as the fifties and continuing on into the seventies, five brothers were employed a various times as guides during the summers for the same tourist camp that was owned by an American family. At times there could be two or three of the brothers guiding for the Faess family. Tom, the oldest, was the first to get hired on because he had worked for the previous camp owners, the Spires. Next came Larry, then Danny, Walter and finally Gordon, the youngest.
The Cameron brothers had lost their older brother, Paul, to tuberculosis. They had one sister; her name was June, my mother. I grew up with uncles always around and lots of cousins. We had great times. My mother adored her brothers. She was older than Gordon, Larry, Danny and Walter and spent her life worrying about them, looking after them and at times trying to save them from themselves.
When the Cameron family moved to town from the trap line, alcohol knocked on their door and enticed them one by one out into the world to have fun and adventure. And one by one they fell to their knees, most never able to get back up. Their story is one that I will attempt to tell in the near future, a story of tragedy and triumph. I am currently trying to gather information from my mother, now 80 years old, before her memory goes away completely. I have set myself a deadline for my next book. I never thought I would write another book after The Cedar Canoe, but have come to realize the story is not over.
Tom Faess was just a little lad when the brothers began working for his family. I know that they meant a great deal to him and were a big part of his childhood. The Fauss family was more than employers to the brothers; they were friends.