Memoirs of a Boy from PEI, Born in ’38, by Gene Rogerson, charts the journeys of a boy from a PEI village, his ventures across this great land, and back again.
Growing up in Crapaud in the forties, the author spent his days fishing, skating on ponds, floating ice cakes, playing hooky from school to go hunting, and getting into mischief. The son of a butter maker, he seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. But Gene had other plans.
With a thirst for adventure, he struck out for the big city of Toronto, beginning a string of adventures that would take him from St. Claire shoe shops and slaughterhouses to kitchens in remote weather stations on South Hampton Island. From Coast Guard ports in Newfoundland and cockroach detail on the old Abby, to South Dakota jail cells and explosive rock beds deep in the wilds of northern Alberta. By the late sixties, it was back to PEI, but his adventures didn’t stop then. Gene started a family and became a federal dairy inspector, all while raising wild turkeys and operating a thriving market garden roadside stand. The road got rough sometimes and Gene would suffer some tough losses. Yet despite the thousands of miles travelled and wide variety of jobs, characters, and encounters, one thing would tie all of his adventures together—family.
Told in a conversational style and brimming with nostalgia and good humour, this distinctly Island autobiography presents an invaluable history of a time and place that is gone but, as this memoir ensures, will not be forgotten. Published by Periscope Pictures, Memoirs of a Boy from PEI, Born in ’38 is available at the Bookmark, 172 Queen Street, Charlottetown.