I bumped into Chase resident and author Ron Fox the other day.
Fox told me he will be having a book signing for his newest book, Coyote Gals and Hunting Pals, this Saturday, Nov. 17 at Bookingham Palace bookstore in Salmon Arm. I told him I would look forward to it. He gave me a copy to read. I’m glad he did.
Coyote Gals and Hunting Pals, from Foxcroft Publishers, is part reminiscence and part memoir. It is the story of a group of adolescent friends growing up in the northern town of Telkwa, BC where being a kid offered endless adventures and some hard lessons. It is also a delight to read.
“The mournful cry of a coyote resounded off the mountain wall and came echoing up the valley, easily heard by the two men sitting on the front steps of the cabin… one sawing away on his violin, and Buster, sucking absentmindedly on his long, cold pipe.
“He cocked his head and muttered to his companion, ‘Listen you’ve picked up an audience.’
“Buster sat there with a smile on his face thinking far back in his past, back to his early days when he had his own coyote girls.”
In chapter after chapter, the reader is swept along on adventure after misadventure, with Buster (who in fact is Fox), Nick, Rocky, along with two sisters and a girlfriend from town who would ultimately become known as the Coyote Girls.
There are plenty of stories to make the reader smile, if not laugh out loud, as well as some more poignant stories about innocence lost and life’s lessons learned the hard way.
Find out how the Coyote Girls got their name. Join the gang – the one with no girls allowed – as they get even with a passing train, and tag along with Buster and Nick as they strike it rich – with fool’s gold. Learn about the importance of paying your debts and about the value of friendships
Coyote Gals and Hunting Pals tells of life during a simpler time – an idyllic, and yet in other ways, a much harder time.
Fox writes in a straightforward style. Most readers will easily identify with both the adventures and misadventures in this book. I know I did. There is also a harsh reality to this book that one cannot escape. It is the poignancy, as well as the humour, that makes the people in the book so real to the reader.
After reading the book, I phoned Fox and asked him what ever became of the Coyote Girls.
He started out about telling me how he had lost contact with both the people he knew growing up (in Telkwa), his childhood friends and the sisters, the Coyote Girls.
“We drifted apart. I went away and was gone long enough to loose contact with everyone,” he said. “In time no one was left. There’s nothing really left of the old town now.”
He paused for a bit and then said, “That was until I met two of the Coyote girls at a homecoming back in 2010. Brenda (whose real name is Maggie), and her sister Maxina (Barbara). We started talking and reminiscing and laughing, and before I knew it I was writing a new book.”
Fox and the Coyote Girls still communicate. He told me that he got a good laugh one day after the book came out when Maggie told him that one of her granddaughters had said “Hey, Granny’s in a book.”
The best thing about books like Coyote Gals and Hunting Pals is that people live on in stories, just as they live on in our memories.