My Books

Second Edition is the story of the Fraser immigration to Canada in the early part of the 19th century. It started with William Fraser and his wife, Mary Campbell, who emigrated from Glenelg, Scotland to settle in the wilderness of what was then Lower Canada circa 1815.

Within a few years, and after the death of Mary Campbell, William Fraser moved to nearby Glengarry County, where he and his new wife, and then later his son, daughter and their families, lived for almost sixty years. Succeeding generations moved to various places across Canada, where they partook of the economic life of this country, raised their children, lived, prospered and died from the time of the early 19th century to the present. This book tells their stories.

State Fair Avenue tells us of Gordon and Dorothy Armstrong, two small children abandoned by their parents in the early part of the twentieth century. Each child was left with a separate pair of grandparents, leaving their care and upbringing to these older folks who did the best they could for their charges.

Dorothy and Gordon also faced substantial challenges in their adult lives. Dorothy was widowed in her early forties and coped with the problems of bringing up three children (without an adequate income) in the small village of Burk’s Falls in rural Ontario.

Gordon moved to Detroit as a young man, married and had three boys with his wife, Beatrice. He dealt with his own challenges at work and in the home. When their children were young, Beatrice was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized, leading to divorce. As a result, their boys spent a few years in a local orphanage.

This book is a compelling tale of abandonment, struggle, the odd triumph and coping with life as you find it.