Categories: Male Authors - Fundy Coast
Born in Saint John (West), son of Abe and Marion Goss, attended La Tour, New Albert, and Saint John Vocational School, graduated in 1962. As a volunteer in St. George’s Church, especially in its vibrant scouting program, I had my first chance to do storytelling and write press releases and how-to articles. This experience served as basis for similar experiences when employed as a recreationist with the City of Saint John 1969 – 1996. During this time, I developed a community exploration program of Walks ‘n Talks – which is still the highlight of my summer. Meeting people led to many stories being gathered which I shared through Telegraph Journal columns for 18 years, and in many magazines and papers across Canada and USA. With American and Canadian publishers (Arcadia & Nimbus) I have done nine full length books, as well as four for private concerns. I am currently working on a book of New Brunswick happenings – some tall tales, some true.
How has New Brunswick influenced your work?
The rich storytelling heritage, first shared by my dad, and by many others since has been an inspiration to me, and the rich collections of the Saint John Regional Library, New Brunswick Museum, University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Legislative Library, and many local museums, combined with the gifted storytellers I’ve met has made it possible for me to collect and share many forgotten bits of lore or factual New Brunswick History in both photographic form (Arcadia) and print and photos (Nimbus).
I am deeply in debt to previous collectors of stories, especially those who kept scrapbooks such as Ganong, Ward, Raymond, etc. As I have been able to use their work as jumping off points to share many a tale – while these are not books the records these men kept have been the single most important aid to my contribution to the literary life of New Brunswick.
What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?
The Walk n’ Talk program, which began in 1978, and in which I meet people face to face and share stories. So far, I have done over 400 of these – and I don’t think I’ve done one in which I have not learned something about the area under discussion that I would never have learned in a hundred years of book research. I actually solicit stories, songs, poems, photos, and this has led to many a column or book story. I have been recognized by local and national bodies for this unique approach to sharing our province’s history.
|Award for Excellence in Heritage Conservation for Outstanding Contribution to the City of Saint John - 2008
|Jim Fox Award of Distinction, for Excellence in Recreation Leadership Across New Brunswick - 2003
|Award of Merit, for Excellence in Heritage, City of Saint John - 1994
|Certificate of Commendation, from American Association of State and Local History - 1990
Saint John 1877 – 1980