COLUMN: Get hooked on the Ones That Got Away

Bill Richardson and Caroline Adderson have been many things: authors, multiple award winners, and, just possibly, ones that got away.

Bill Richardson (pictured) and Caroline Adderson headline the Saturday Night Live! event

Third in an Elephant Mountain Literary Festival mini-series

Bill Richardson and Caroline Adderson have been many things: celebrated authors for adults and kids, multiple award winners, and, just possibly, the ones that got away.

Now, they’re coming back as co-stars of Saturday Night Live! the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival version on July 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hume Hotel.

What’s this about slipping the hook, you ask?

There’s a rumour out there that author, broadcaster, and funnyman Bill Richardson once courted the role of Nelson’s chief librarian. As a library staff member in my other life, that’s fun to imagine. But if that had happened, then he might not have written 18 books for adults and children. And that would have been a huge loss for us all.

Thanks to a poem in Bill’s 1990 book Queen of All the Dustballs, I can never look at a vacuum cleaner crevice tool without laughing. Thanks to the stories in the Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast, which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, I now have two new friends named Hector and Virgil. And thanks to beloved CBC radio shows such as Richardson’s Roundup, Dear Sad Goat, and Bunny Watson, Bill’s quirky take on things has lightened many a happy hour.

At SNL, Bill reads from his most recent book The First Little Bastard to Call me Gramps: Poems of the Late Middle Ages (House of Anansi Press). Says the publisher:

“Richardson’s illustrated retirement rhymes for the hoary-headed do not just playfully reveal the inevitable weakening that afflicts the mind and body as the years wear on, they also cast light on the ageless, exuberant spirit that too often remains hidden inside. From retirement homes, cruises, and grandchildren to liver spots, memory problems, and geriatric sex, Richardson’s candid reflections on the trials, tribulations, and humiliations of growing old are funny, sharp, and irreverent.”

So come and cast your line! You don’t need to be hoary-headed to laugh along with Nelson’s rumoured-possibly-almost-chief-librarian.

Bill is also MC for the Reading the Earth eco-literary triple-header with J.B. McKinnon, Briony Penn, and Richard Cannings on Friday, July 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre (so you can catch him twice).

Caroline Adderson’s connection to the Koots goes back to her Katimavik days in Kaslo and Argenta. She did a teaching practicum in Nelson in the 1980s, and came back later in the role of screenwriter when the movie Tokyo Cowboy featuring Nelson’s cultural ambassador for dance, Hiromoto Ida had its Nelson debut.

Caroline might have stuck around, but instead she settled on the coast to write novels, short stories, and children’s books, winning the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Sheila Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, three CBC literary awards, and the Marian Engle Award for Mid-Career Achievement.

Caroline’s fiction raises disturbing questions as she examines what it is to be human. She is also possessed of a light touch borne of insight and a keen understanding of the ways in which we find redemption. As a kidlit author, Caroline romps with kids and dogs in a way that clearly illustrates she is at home with both and you can’t go wrong there.

Caroline is EMLF’s 2016 writer-in-residence, advising ten writers through one-on-one critiques as part of the Holley Rubinsky Memorial Blue Pencil Sessions. She also appears on the Once Upon a Time children’s literature panel on Saturday.

At the Saturday Night Live! event, Caroline will read from Ellen in Pieces, a CBC Best Book of 2014, which she describes as “a novel-in-stories about a brassy, sometimes infuriating single mother navigating the loves and losses of middle age.” She adds, “I promise to read a funny part.”

After the readings, Selkirk College creative writing instructor Leesa Dean will facilitate a friendly discussion and audience Q & A.

Are Bill and Caroline the Ones that Got Away? Of course not! Because they’re back, and all you have to do to enjoy them is buy a ticket.

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival runs July 6 to 10 in Nelson. Other events include the 100-Mile Gala, Reading the Earth, and Saturday panel discussions. For information and tickets go to emlfestival.com.

Previously in this series

Warm, fuzzy, and in the know

Bibliobrilliance comes to Nelson

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two overdose deaths in Nelson over the weekend

Police warn that much of the current drug supply in the city may be dangerous

Leafs beat Nitehawks for 8th straight win

The win gives Nelson a provisional division lead

Castlegar march ensures missing, murdered aboriginal women not forgotten

About 60 people took part in the Valentine’s day memorial

Jenner scored 2 in debut as Leafs beat Thunder Cats

Nelson is on a seven-game winning streak

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citizenship, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

Most Read