Tomorrow I will spend the day at the A-frame with students from Centennial Secondary School. They come each year to tidy the property and the house in preparation for Purdy Day on April 21 - and because a home needs attention once in a while. They also read, and write and connect with that Al Purdy who lived and wrote and created a literary family here. Al comes 'off the bookshelf' through these activities planned by insightful and creative teachers.
The students identify with Al Purdy as a local boy, as a kid who struggled with school and small-town life. They see themselves in him - they become readers and some will become writers. They will all remember this day.
The quote at the top is from the poem 'What it Was'. It's on the wall of the Purdy Library at another great local school - Trenton High School (Al's old school). The old Underwood typewriter keys suspended from the ceiling are part of the decor designed by a THS teacher and created by students. Did they make a connection with Al Purdy? I would think so.
I will ask the young folks to talk to me about this Purdy.