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Aug-14-2012 13:20printcomments

The Canadian Shield

Friends, Romans, countrymen...

Canadian flag

(SASKATCHEWAN) - Over the past year and a half there have been more than 150 issues of The Canadian Shield, some dealing with my declining years and refugee status in Florida, some ranting about politics, religion, social injustice, and in some cases even attempting to be funny. More than two dozen of those stories concerned my childhood, my youth, my life in my home town in Canada - the little prairie town of Consort in Alberta. Many of those stories were published in The Enterprise, my town's incredibly professional and insightful weekly newspaper.

Both my town and The Enterprise recently celebrated their Centennial, and to mark that occasion, Dave Bruha, the paper's highly competent editor, published 24 of those stories from The Shield in bound form, a professional and attractive book version we've called "Sketches From My Town: Consort - The Town That Could."

I'm proud of this book, not because it's my seventh and in some ways my best, but because it's a tribute to the town that I've attempted to portray, the town that formed me. I know that there are endless platitudes about the sameness of Canadian (and American) prairie towns. Allow me to differ. This little town (350 people, when I grew up in the Thirties, perhaps double that now) has in my lifetime produced doctors, lawyers, engineers, a Rhodes Scholar, a significant group of decorated veterans of both World Wars, k.d. lang and Nickleback, the world-class rock band. And perhaps more importantly, since 1912, a legion of damn good people, of patience and courage and fortitude, who survived and withstood the Great Depression and eight successive years of crop failure, two wars, and what Brokaw called with Kennedy "the hard and bitter peace."

If by now you've discerned that this is a pitch, you're dead right. If you'd like a copy of "Sketches From My Town," rush to your check book (cheque book in Canada) and send $18 (either currency will do) to:

Dave Bruha
The Enterprise
Box 129
Consort, Alberta T0C 1B0

Please add $3 so Dave doesn't have to eat the shipping cost. He's done enough already. Oh, by the way, I'm not trying to make any money on this great little project. Every dime of proceeds from the book, Dave will be presenting to the Senior Citizen's Home in my town, as my personal memorial to my parents, Ross and Lennye Annett. They once lived there for a brief period - but for more than 50 years they lived in my town.


Bill Annett grew up a writing brat; his father, Ross Annett, at a time when Scott Fitzgerald and P.G. Wodehouse were regular contributors, wrote the longest series of short stories in the Saturday Evening Post's history, with the sole exception of the unsinkable Tugboat Annie.

At 18, Bill's first short story was included in the anthology “Canadian Short Stories.” Alarmed, his father enrolled Bill in law school in Manitoba to ensure his going straight. For a time, it worked, although Bill did an arabesque into an English major, followed, logically, by corporation finance, investment banking and business administration at NYU and the Wharton School. He added G.I. education in the Army's CID at Fort Dix, New Jersey during the Korean altercation.

He also contributed to The American Banker and Venture in New York, INC. in Boston, the International Mining Journal in London, Hong Kong Business, Financial Times and Financial Post in Toronto.

Bill has written six books, including a page-turner on mutual funds, a send-up on the securities industry, three corporate histories and a novel, the latter no doubt inspired by his current occupation in Daytona Beach as a law-abiding beach comber.

You can write to Bill Annett at this address:




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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.