Our guest speaker, Bruce Woods, displayed blown up representations of his two books – Between Two Women and Between Two Worlds. Both books are memoirs. The first, which has sold more than 11,000 copies, deals with his life growing up in Stratford and how he was forced into the role of peacemaker between his mother and his grandmother. The second book deals with his life from 1948 to the year 2000.
He related how he went door to door selling his first book much like a travelling salesman.
Bruce thanked the club for the invitation and then told many stories of incidents in his life growing up in Stratford in the ‘30s and ‘40s supported by a single mother who took up hairdressing in her parlour to support the family.
He recalled the Royal Visit of 1939 to Stratford and the disappointment of he and his pal over the abbreviated time the Royals were able to spend after thousands had come to see them. The people spread out along the tracks and the train sped by at 20 mph instead of the intended 5 mph.
He went into detail of the problems of growing up in Stratford only to have his mother decide to go west. After a very short stay they returned. He said Stratford offered a wonderful area to grow up with green playing fields and many ameni-ties.
He described how his flighty mother, who struggled with mental illness, tried first in New York then in Vancouver to find a new home and the difficulties he en-countered along the way. He went on to end up in Chicago briefly on one of the return trips.
It was this type of existence he says led him to find God and to decide to become a Baptist minister. His father and he had little contact and he recalled him turning up when he was 11 in a Cadillac as he went about his traveling sales career.
He has recently published a third book The History of Romance about romance in the Bible.
Our speaker at our December monthly meeting will be Betty Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold. The title of her talk is “…and the need goes on.” We will also have our traditional Christmas Carol sing-a-long featuring Bob Henderson and John Butler.