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  • Writer's pictureClarke Wallace


When living and working in Montreal I enjoyed spending my lunch hour in old Montreal. The business district was there, so were the many ageless used bookstores. Old buildings that had been there for a lifetime already.

You stepped inside and you couldn’t help but breath in the warmth of the surroundings.

I was with a magazine and spent most lunches poking through old slightly worn editions that gave life to years past.

I enjoyed fiction best, but that didn’t stop me from reading nonfiction. One that struck me was ‘THE LEFT-HANDED BOOK (’66) by Michael Barsley. The dedication: to ‘MY MOTHER who let me be Left-Handed’.

My mom did the same. Bless her.

Among the books that caught my imagination was THE EDIBLE WILD, by Berndt Berglund and Clare E. Bolsby. ‘A complete cookbook and guide to edible wild plants in Canada and Eastern North America.’ The titles of the chapters couldn’t help but intrigue me.

EDIBLE FRUITS: Chokecherry. Elderberry. Wild Rose.

And these under ‘Tobacco and Sugar Substitutes: Bearberry, Sugar Maple. Sugar Pine.

A book catching my attention was WILDERNESS SURVIVAL: 'a COMPLETE HANDBOOK AND GUIDE FOR SURVIVAL IN THE North American wilds. Don’t go anywhere in (wild) without it.'

Author’s comment: The LEFT-HANDED BOOK is one you can’t help buying: at least I couldn’t. The sub-title: ‘An investigation history of left-handedness’.

That’ me. Left-handed. I write what they call ‘upside down’ with the hand literally bent over from the top, if that makes sense. Some lefties curve the hand under, writing from the bottom. Confusing? I know. Watch for left-handers to see how they write. One in ten of us is left-handed.

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