Pubs, Pulpits and Prairie Fires
Taking a new approach to illustrating the past, this fictional recollection finds history professor Paul Wessner reminiscing about the On-to-Ottawa Trek and the 1935 Regina Riot, with the usual Tuesday night BJ’s Bar and Q Club patrons as his audience. Due to local interest in his research, he invites Doc Savage and Matt Shaw, leaders on the Trek, to deliver their own firsthand accounts of the events. The narratives broaden to the evolution of the Social Credit and CCF prairie fires and their lasting legacies in Canada, and police tactics of the Great Depression are compared to the repression of dissent at the Battle of Seattle and the Quebec Summit of the Americas. Soon Paul’s weekly pub colleagues end up on their own odysseys, discovering that they are actually a part of the narratives that are shared on Tuesday nights, and Paul’s own journey pulls everyone into the middle of a living, breathing oral history.