When I dreamed-up a story it had to be Canadian, a little inland, somewhere I had been. The ground my memorable trip included was not Lunenburg County but I can portray what I love about Nova Scotia and learn the rest. I found <i>“Bluenose Ghosts”</i> by <b>Dr. Helen Creighton</b>. I loved it and <i>“Bluenose Magic”</i> awaits. I believed the jackpot would be <i>“Folklore Of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia”</i>. Her 1950 opus, a hit in international folklore, is out-of-print. I recently hit two jackpots: this mint condition hardcover and that of “<b>A Life In Folklore</b>”, 1975, at a local store! I leaped to this autobiography because I want to experience the opus, knowing how it felt to publish it, which <b>Helen</b> shared. It took four years. Researchers like <b>Helen</b> are important to time, for several serendipitous reasons. Let's use as an example “Jingle Bells”, composed in 1857. How do all English countries know a song sung in Boston before we were born?
Choirs kept singing the non-religious song that got attached to Christmas, until it could be recorded on an Edison cylinder in 1898. If a song wasn't so well repeated, especially regional ones dwindling down to elderly relatives knowing it; how does it prevail? When collectors like <b>Helen</b> write the words, with a friend who can transcribe the music sung in front of them! When she got a record-maker and then a tape-recorder from her contractor; capturing songs became easier.... if her hosts had electricity! Stories and paranormal experiences came out in their music sessions, yielding the <i>“Bluenose”</i> books that keep getting printed. I think if <b>Helen</b> had collected when average homes had recorded entertainment, she wouldn't have found the wool-carding and evening singsongs in practice. She scored some a year before a contributor died. It was serendipitous too that she was born in time to catch that era.
Someone years ago thought she focused on fishermen. This autobiography demonstrates how <b>Helen</b> solicited songs widely. She valued all trades and traditions, including black and Aboriginal. She got her contributors on radio and television, proudly delivering their royalties. I loved observing what supportive, warm, fun parents she had! They saw the Halifax explosion and two wars. <b>Helen</b> boarded military couples all her life and ineligible to serve, drove an ambulance providing remote medial care. Our pioneer had frequent author business across Canada, taught in México, and visited her doctor brother abroad. She was not solely renowned in Canada's east. The only thing I found wanting was coverage of her <i>“Bluenose Ghosts”</i> collecting experiences! She shares a personal paranormal side at the end. This is a rich and happy book!