Friday, May 30, 2014

SHADOW OF THE HINDENBURG - Eastern Canada 1936

"He was a child of eight with impetigo on his knees, and he was standing on the bare clay playground of a country school when he looked up and saw the airship.  Silver, wearing for a reach across the wind, it floated over the schoolyard, scattering in the air behind it tiny objects that floated down - Baby Ruth candy bars on small parachutes. Running after the airship, Michael could stay in its shadow the length of the schoolyard, the other children running with him, scrambling for the candy bars. Then they reached the plowed field at the edge of the school yard and the shadow moved away, rippling over the rows. Lander in his short pants fell in the field and tore the scabs off his knees. He got to his feet again and watched the dirigible out of sight, rivulets of blood on his shins, a candy bar and parachutes clutched in his hand."   
(Childhood memory of "The American,"  the psychopath who plots to obliterate the Superbowl)     BLACK SUNDAY    Thomas  Harris, 1975.

Passenger handbook, Zeppelin D-LZ129, the HINDENBURG

On June 24, 1936  Zeppelin  D-LZ129 the HINDENBURG, passed over Saint John, New Brunswick and created an instant sensation.  The port city was one of several cities in Atlantic Canada that had a  municipal airfield, and its promoters constantly touted expansion of passenger service. But in truth the "aviation age" was passing them by. The zeppelin overflight was unexpected, because the huge dirigibles usually logged flights directly over the Atlantic, south of Nova Scotia. When local radio station CHSJ began announcing sightings of the zeppilin's approach  along the Fundy shore, all those with film in their cameras moved into the open to attempt a capture. It was a school day, so most of the kids missed it, but many, including my grandfather, had an experience they would cherish for the remainder of their lives. Canada was still three years from being thrust into a second war with Germany, so none were  offended by the giant red and black Nazi swastika flags passing overhead. [1936 was the year of the spectacular Nazi Olympiad and HINDENBURG also sported the five rings - blue, yellow, black, green and red.] Most were content to have witnessed one of the great technological wonders of their era, a form of swift transportation - "Two-Days to Europe" - which was priced well beyond reach of most folks during that  hard decade of economic depression.

Europe in 2 Days,  the HINDENBURG, Zeppelin advertisement 1937

A trip on a German Zeppelin cost  US$450 one-way, with a 10% discount for a round trip booking.   Those who kept up with current events in 1936 were very aware of the technological advances of Hitler's Germany where an outstanding female pilot had safely flown an autogiro into the  middle of a crowded stadium and where select sports events were already being broadcast on television.  North American aviation enthusiasts and the stamp collecting fraternity were downright passionate in their following  of  the GERMAN ZEPPELIN TRANSPORT COMPANY and as a result we can today find an astonishing diversity of ephemera on the market today.  In 1936 the HINDENBURG  was the darling of the popular press in the U.S. and in June when she passed over Canada,  our news stands were stocked with magazines which featured her as cover stories. 

Max Schmeling observes the shadow of the HINDENBURG
From the promenade deck of the HINDENBURG boxer Max Schmeling
watched the cool shadow ripple across whole American city blocks.

The flight which passed over Saint John departed Lakehurst, New Jersey on June 23, 1936 and was expected to reach Frankfurt, Germany 48 hours later. (One flight was exactly 48 hours and 8 minutes.) Given the high price of tickets the passenger manifests often included prosperous celebrities, and this flight included the German boxer Max Schmeling, who had recently fought Joe Louis in New York.  Schmeling made two trips in the HINDENBURG and many pictures exist of him being mobbed at airfields at both ends of the route. The only photo I have seen of him aboard the zeppelin is the award winning Joe Haas shot which shows him peering down at the streets of Philadelphia. (above)

Many in Saint John did capture a photograph of the giant airship, but the trick was to hold your camera steady and remember to squeeze a piece of Saint John into the corner of the image.  Most of the snapshots which survive are of low quality. There are sharper images of HINDENBURG passing over the rooftops of Halifax, but I favor those from Saint John as it was my birthplace.

The HINDENBURG slowed its engines over Saint John and made a single broad orbit of the  harbour. It would be nice to say the captain did it for the benefit of the passengers, but in fact the German's made a practice of photographing ports and military installations wherever their zeppelins flew. The Americans maintained photo-sets of Canadian ports in their intelligence archives, so why would not the Germans?  And as it happened, there was three American military observers among the passengers that day. The HINDENBURG carried seven extra passengers on this June trip and they were required to sleep on folding cots.  Given the number of cameras onboard, I hold out some hope that we may someday see lost images taken of Saint John from the HINDENBURG's promenade deck.  

This photo (below) shows the HINDENBURG passing over the train station in Saint John. The vantage point is the sidewalk opposite the New Brunswick Cold Storage plant. Image graininess is due to the fact it is a scanned newspaper clipping.  It is though my favourite of the HINDENBURG set because my grandfather was working directly below the airship at the moment this photo was taken, and for the rest of his life all he had was memory.  As a young father he had struggled to provide for his family during the early years of the Great Depression and had just secured a job the C.P.R.. He was working in the freight sheds astride the station and his recollection was of the immensity of the near-stationary airship and of the full minute it eclipsed the sun.

HINDENBERG over Saint John, N.B.

The HINDENBURG is one of the most heavily documented aircraft in aviation history and it was very difficult to decide which photographs to include with this article. I have for example, several colour images of the promenade decks, cabins and lounges.  The airship's extraordinary interior have been featured in several Hollywood movies, often in outrageously fanciful scenarios, such as in Disney's THE ROCKETEER and Brooklyn Films SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. Both DVDs are recommended. Lot's of funky fun!

The passenger section was forward on the HINDENBURG so I
indicate the vantage point of Max Schmeling in the Joe Haas photo.

This cutaway diagram of the passenger berths and amenities is very helpful in understanding the flight experience.  Should intercontinental airship flight return, I would definitely be among those purchasing tickets.  These illustrations also help to put the HINDENBURG visit into some perspective, and are a reminder that when the ship into flames at Lakehurst, New Jersey  a year later, people died on those decks.  The explosion of the HINDENBURG at Lakehurst, New Jersey  is rated as one of the top news events ever captured on film and it destroyed an industry.   The newsreel of the ghastly disaster played in movie theatres throughout Canada, as did films of Max Schmeling's heavy-weight fights. 

After taking a good look at Saint John harbour  the Germans resumed course, continuing on their two-day flight  to Europe. A lucky few on the ground managed to get photographs of the HINDENBURG overflight, but hundreds at least had a story to tell their children.   The airship passed over several New Brunswick and Nova Scotia communities before heading out over the open Atlantic.

Hindenburg over Halifax, N.S.

Friday, May 16, 2014

LAWRENCE EARL - the Anglo-Canadian Writer who began life as a Saint John Jew - Part 2

by Ronald J. Jack

The Battle of Baltinglass, recorded in Dublin, 1950
In 1950 Patrick Leo Maguire, an Irish radio personality, wrote a hit folk song under the pseudonym Sylvester Gaffney. Entitled THE BATTLE OF BALTINGLASS, the single was released on a 45 RPM disc and it was in part the inspiration for the Lawrence Earl book ofhe same title. The song lyrics read like a pop-culture scrapbook from the Cold War, and aremore zany than the Lawrence Earl prose which won the 1953 Leacock Medal for Humour

by Sylvester Gaffney, Dublin 1950

(Air: The South Down Militia)

O, the G.P.O. in Dublin will go down in history,
'Twas there the glorious fight was made that set our country free,
But from Aughrim down to Boland's Mills there's nothing could surpass,
The siege of the sub Post Office in the Town of Baltinglass,

There were Bren-guns and Sten-guns and whippet tanks galore,
The battle raging up and down from pub to general store:
Between the Vintner and the Cook the pot was quite upset,
And the Minister swore this Irish stew was the worst he ever 'et.

The job of sub-postmaster or mistress, as might be,
Is not exactly one that leads to wealth and luxury:
But Korea was a picnic and Tobruk was just a pup
To the row the day the linesmen came to take the cable up.

Now all the countryside joined in, the lowly and the great;
There were elephant-guns from Poona, and pikes from '98.
But the Cossacks came from Dublin, and the Irish Navy too,
And poor cook, she burnt her fingers on this wretched Irish stew.

There were gremlins from the Kremlin, and little men from Mars
Complete with flying saucers and hats festooned with stars.
There were rocket-firing, jet propelled, atomic flying boats,
And Commandos from the G.P.O. in their oul' tarpaulin coats.

The linesmen made a dash to open up the cable trench
They opened up the sewer instead, Lord save us! what a stench
A gentleman in jodhpurs swore, "By Jove, they're using gas"
"The next will be an atom bomb on peaceful Baltinglass."

Now the case has gone to U.N.O. and we're waiting for the day,
When Truman, Attlee and McBride will come along and say
"Get back behind your parallel, drop atom bombs and gas,
"And respect the bound'ries and the laws of Sov'reign Baltinglass.


Sixty years ago a book reviewer chose to list the names of Canadian authors who spent “most of their time in the United States” but he also noted that “New Brunswick author Lawrence Earl and the young Montreal writer Mordecai Richler are finding their destinies in old London”. The differences among our writers were often more than geographic. Earl and Richler for example, were both Canadian born Jews, but while Richler expertly tilled the rich ethnic soil of Jewish religion, traditions and culture which rooted him and produced some of the truly great Canadian novels of his century, Earl chose the adventure genre and ignored the streets and characters of his youth.  In Saint John he learned the camera arts, but memories of his native city never inspired the writing man.  The result?  Lawrence Earl is frequently mis-identified by those who consult his early non-fiction, and the novels he produced for Canadian readers are seldom encountered.

Lawrence Earl photographed in London, circa 1954

After the success of YANGTSE INCIDENT Lawrence Earl immediately sought another book project.  He was in luck! JOHN BULL magazine assigned him to cover a fascinating story in Ireland that had already been immortalized by a folk song recorded in Dublin. It was called THE BATTLE OF BALTINGLASS.  Sensing that he was mining valuable ore, Earl signed another contract with his publisher George Harrap.  Baltinglass was, in 1950, a village of some 800 souls, located quite near Dublin.  Its tiny sub-post office doubled as an agency for paying government fees and telephone bills. The job was a valuable sinecure. When the position was re-allocated the resulting furor came close to igniting open sectarian violence.   In his book of the same title Lawrence Earl stuck to his preferred style of peppering prose with carefully fabricated dialogue.  In the Preface he wrote “Because it is not fiction I lacked the happy licence of the novelist who arranges his facts to suit the plot, who can plumb the minds of his characters, enter locked doors, and eavesdrop on deep secrets.” 

The Battle of Baltinglass, Lawrence Earl - 1952 book review

Without a doubt, "Baltinglass" is Earl's finest book.  Although I sought in vain any trace evidence of the author's New Brunswick education or influences in the novel, I must note that the principle action of the story takes place on Mill Street and Main Street in the village of Baltinglass. It is merely a coincidence that there was a Mill Street - Main Street junction in Saint John, N.B. where  Earl grew up.  There is no way of knowing if Mr. Earl smiled when he stood on the corner of Mill and Main in distant Ireland, but I would like to believe he had a 'moment'.

In creative style as in the use of elastic veracity, Lawrence Earl’s non-fiction was very much in step with fellow Canadian author Farley Mowat, and indeed both writers were in the 1950s relying on ARGOSY and other popular “Men’s magazines” of the era, to establish an American reader base.

ARGOSY magazine, September 1954 - Crocodile Killer
Lawrence Earl's third book, CROCODILE FEVER,
was condensed for the Sept. 1954 ARGOSY magazine.

A very serviceable description of events in Baltinglass is provided in a review published in Australia in 1952 (below).  I like the reviewer’s conclusion that – “Mr. Earl’s book is as Irish as shamrocks, and a manual for agitators.” Harrap sold the Canadian rights to publisher Clarke Irwin who marketed the book as a work of humour. As a result in 1953 Lawrence Earl was awarded the coveted Leacock Medal.  His third work of non-fiction, CROCODILE FEVER: A True Story of Adventure, appeared in 1954. It described the career of a successful croc-hunter. In the U.S. it was  published as RIVER OF EYES (a better title)  and condensed for ARGOSY magazine.  
RIVER OF EYES, by Lawrence Earl, his third work of non-fiction
CROCODILE FEVER was published in the U.S. as  RIVER OF EYES.

At the risk of being caught at large in the cape and mask of a pedantic outlaw, I have to point out that by assuming a purely Anglo-Canadian identity, and eschewing opportunities to draw from his family heritage, Lawrence Earl avoided a contribution to the important body of Jewish Canadian writing we now study in our schools. He was a part of that community and yet apart. If I didn't care about New Brunswick history I would not quibble about gaps in its literature. It is not so bad that some Canadian writers get Earl facts wrong -  for example R.B. Fleming in his recent biography of Peter Gzowski,  labelled YANGSTE INCIDENT "his novel". Worse are the writers who frequently refer to Earl as "a British journalist" or some variant phrase, but it is entirely Earl's doing. He was creator of his own identity.  (NOTE: If Earl did write any memoir piece for the Saint John newspaper, I would like to learn of it.)

Though he was still living and working in London, Earl’s first novel THE FROZEN JUNGLE, [1956] was written for the Canadian market. His subject, the dramatic tale of survival after a plane crash in Labrador, made total sense for the time period. In fact the tale was literally ripped from the pages of the newspapers. Ottawa and Washington were pouring millions of dollars and many thousands of workers into the North, rushing completion of the chain of distant early warning radars known as the DEW LINE. During a twelve-month period, eighteen of 81 civilian aircraft working under contract to military project sites crashed in the North.  

Just as his early non-fiction had been promoted in JOHN BULL magazine, Earl’s first novel was serialized in Canada. It appeared over four weeks in 1956, supported by a dozen drawings prepared by a WEEKEND magazine illustrator.  WEEKEND was published in Montreal, and was descended from the STANDARD Photo News, where Earl got his start as a young newsman. (see Part 1)  It is claimed that in the mid-1950s he took up writing books full time, but in fact he was still doing freelance journalism and editing, while his photographs were still being purchased by magazines.
THE FROZEN JUNGLE - Lawrence Earl, Bantam paperback cover
THE FROZEN JUNGLE, a tale of lust and survival
set in Labrador, was published by Harrap in 1956.

By the 1960s the Earl's were dividing their time between London and Toronto, but they lived almost five decades as Londoners. Mr. Earl completed two more Canadian novels, the last a thriller published in 1969.  In old age he finally moved back to New Brunswick, accompanied by his journalist wife Jane Armstrong.  They took up residence at Driftwood Cottage, the Wiezel's old summer home at Grand Bay  on the St. John River, where he could relax with his Glenfiddich and his collection of fishing tackle.  In 1999 Lawrence Earl received an honorary doctorate from U.N.B. which acknowledged a lifetime in letters.   He died in 2005 at the age of 89  and his burial was in Shaarei Zedek, the Jewish section of Fernhill Cemetery in Saint John. 

THE STREET, St. Urbain Street and Mordecai Richler

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lawrence Earl - the Canadian who wrote YANGTSE INCIDENT

YANGTSE  INCIDENT  by Lawrence Earl,  George Harrap Publisher, London 1950

Lawrence Earl - the Canadian who 

by Ronald J. Jack

Brian Crozier was a neophyte book reviewer in 1951  when he began a review with this - “I cannot tell you anything about Lawrence Earl, who is, to all appearances, an unknown, a newcomer to publication; but I suspect him of being a journalist of rare talent.”  Crozier, who later became an historian, biographer and also a C.I.A. agent of influence, had the instincts of a sleuth, and was understandably puzzled that the publisher of such a well-told tale, YANGTSE INCIDENT: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst, had not thought to include an author photo or profile.  The only clue given was in the book dedication -  “To  H.F.W.” , a special someone who meant a great deal to “Lawrence Earl” but who must forever remain in the shadows.

For years I had YANGTSE INCIDENT in my library, consulting it only at those moments when I was pursuing some subject or other involving the Royal Navy’s China Station, or perhaps some naval aspect of the Chinese Civil War.  My copy had a life of its own, having once been the property of John Riseley-Pritchard, a sometime Formula One driver, sport pilot, partner in VIDAL SASSOON, and a convicted pedophile. I received it in 1987 as a token “Best Article” prize, in lieu of a writing fee.

Though I live in Vancouver my "hometown" was Saint John, New Brunswick, and I have researched and written much on its history. Each year I get the Alumni newspaper of Saint John High School via Canada Post and,  morbid cuss that I am, I tend to focus on the necrology.  In May 2006 appeared an obituary notice for "Lawrence Earl", a chap who started in journalism in 1931 as editor of The Red and Gray newspaper, then moved to Montreal and began a career with some of the highest circulation newsweeklies of the mid-20th century.  The Obit was just the sort of bridge-piece I needed to connect two fugitive pieces of memory that had never been known to associate.

Lawrence Earl was actually born Lawrence Earl Wiezel in 1915, in Saint John. His family was of Hungarian Jewish extraction, and for decades operated a successful footwear business in the city. During the Great Depression their busy firm, WIEZEL BROS. BOOTS AND SHOES was located in the city centre and the Wiezel family lived in an apartment over the store. In 1931 his father purchased a modern home, the same year Lawrence (“Lollie” to his family) started in Grade 12. It is clear that while completing high school young Lawrence struggled with personal identity, just as millions of Canadian teenagers have done and still do.  He made the bold move, no doubt painful to his parents, of Anglicizing his name. He dropped the Jewish surname “Wiezel” and became simply “Lawrence Earl” cub reporter.  His dream was to be a photojournalist with the influential magazines he enjoyed reading, such as the American juggernauts LIFE and LOOK.  To that end he diligently practiced his craft  and sought employment rather than going on to university.  I think his father may have bankrolled his first professional camera, which cost $400 in 1940 dollars. He once shared his working rules with an audience in Montreal – “Know your camera, keep your eyes open and use your imagination”.  Good advice, and it soon propelled him top prominence at THE MONTREAL STANDARD where he was a staff photographer on the weekly news magazine during World War Two.

THE STANDARD PHOTONEWS, a 1940 copy. Canadian war news was a staple.

This is where my mind needed a fresh prompt, because I was after all, aware of Lawrence Earl’s wartime photography. I had collected a dozen examples of it when writing Saint John military history in the early 1980s, but I never made the connection to the “British” author of YANGTSE INCIDENT.   In early 1942 Lawrence Earl was sent to Saint John to shoot a feature on the port defences – the coastal batteries and the vessel examination system.  His impressive photo-essay, Small Ships and Great Guns are the Watchdogs Over Our Busy Harbourswas the most complete coverage the fortress garrison had under wartime conditions of media censorship.  Earl’s enthusiasm for the city of his birth is revealed in the effort he made to do a very solid job of reporting, without revealing a scrap of information to the enemy.  He actually participated in the official disinformation process, photographing a naval officer and a chalkboard map which was an entirely bogus depiction of what the environs of Saint John actually looked like. Very amusing. 

Gun crew in the defended port of Saint John, N.B. - early 1942

Lawrence Earl became a Canadian War Correspondent rather late.  In 1944 THE MONTREAL STANDARD dispatched him to London in time to help cover the great push from Normandy to the Rhine, and he captured some dramatic moments with his lens. It is said that one of his photos of Juliana, Holland’s Queen in wartime exile, graced the cover of TIME magazine, but if so Earl wasn’t credited by name.  (She appeared on three covers, none attributed to Earl. The image attributed to the ACME photo agency may be his.) What really mattered were the professional contacts he made in London, because he and wife Jane Armstrong enjoyed the city and its culture, and both sought work that would keep them in England.

Lawrence Earl, Canadian War Correspondent, Montreal 1944

Lawrence Earl, National Geographic Magazine, December 1946
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine, December 1946.
Twenty Lawrence Earl photos of Dike repair in Holland.

Earl did camera work for several British illustrated magazines after the war, and had his work published in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (December 1946) but the money was slow and the couple returned briefly to Canada in 1947.  His big break came in August 1949 with a job offer from JOHN BULL, Britain’s equivalent to the SATURDAY EVENING POST.  When the ship’s company of H.M.S. AMETHYST returned in 1949 Earl was on hand to greet them and to interview as many crewmen who would talk, including the seniors officers.  Before long, and with his employer’s permission he began work on a book and had a contract with George G. Harrap and Company.  The publishers were known for generous license, allowing staff writers to spin off books from their assignments, and also frequently bought serial rights.  Several famous British authors got their start creating books from magazine material.  JOHN BULL, which published on Wednesdays, ran portions of YANGTSE INCIDENT as a six-part serial late in 1950.

JOHN BULL magazine, Yangtse Incident

In terms of media interest, the story got as close to saturation as was possible in 1949. Supported by editorial leads and newsreels in the cinemas, the dramatic subject of AMETHYST was reminiscent of the “U.S.S. Panay Incident” of 1937, but Earl needed a writing plan.  He chose a narrative form that relied on recreated dialogue throughout, all of it bolted into place with quotation marks. It is a device eschewed by professional historians who must be able to hang their hat on every piece of evidence they employ, but common to newspaper prose in which heavy paraphrasing is accepted as a literal record. Today YANGTSE INCIDENT might be classed “Creative Non-fiction”, and is the only type of popular history or biography that actually sells to general publishers.   Sometimes it works, but often it falls flat, as in the following snippets which betray Lawrence Earl’s total lack of knowledge of the Chinese, who are rendered as caricatures in the book:

Obviously somebody has made mistake,” the Chinese Naval Chief of Staff said querulously. “I’ll ask the people in this hut if they’ve heard anything about your ship.”  There was a wood-and-mud hut on the bank of the creek. Candlelight showed through the cracks. The Chinese officer knocked at the door and spoke in nasal sing-song to a fisherman who came to answer
…  Just at midnight [Lt. Commander] Kerans saw what looked like the quick flash of an electric torch not far ahead. Then he heard an outlandish jumble of sound.  As he came closer to the sound he realized that it was a large group of Chinese civilians, chattering in their sing-song tongue.

JOHN BULL magazine, advertisement for Yangtse Incident

His 199 page book confines itself to the dramatic period, April – July 1949, when British warships were bottled up on the Yangtse River, above Shanghai, by the advancing Chinese Communist forces.  Royal Navy casualties were heavy. The vessel was then patched up in Shanghai, which had not yet fallen to the Reds. After the breakout, an adoring British public celebrated AMETHYST and her crew and Earl got to work.  All potted profiles of Lawrence Earl you encounter with a Google search state rather baldly that his book “was made into a movie”.  This is not correct.  Certainly the titles were identical and the Earl book made a ready reference for the filmmakers as it is tightly chronological, but the script was an original work of novelist Eric Ambler, who had written an earlier successful war film, THE CRUEL SEA.  Ambler was given free access to official Admiralty records and the full assistance of Lieutenant-Commander John S. Kerans, who had commanded AMETHYST and was seconded to the production company. He wrote a detailed report on the making of the film. 

H.M.S. AMETHYST - The Official Pictorial Record, 1949
 H.M.S. AMETHYST - The Official Pictorial Record was the first book, published in 1949.
It has 43 photos, two maps,  and a a complete crew list. No doubt Lawrence Earl found it a
handy reference.  His goal was 

The Director, Michael Anderson, delivered a film composed of 455 scenes, and shot entirely in England in 1956. Kerans, in discussing script development, recalled that the original treatment “bore little or no resemblance to any known facts”. He would only allow that the shooting script was based “in part, on a book written in 1950” and leaves us the firm impression that Earl had no role in the film production. Because the film was low-budget, with no hope of recreating the tumultuous welcome AMETHYST received at Hong Kong, the Director did copy Lawrence Earl's dramatic story ending, the reading of Commander Kerans' triumphant signal: "HAVE REJOINED THE FLEET.  AM SOUTH OF WOOSUNG. NO DAMAGE OR CASUALTIES.  GOD SAVE THE KING."

Premiere YANGTSE INCIDENT, (Pathe) London 1957
The premiere showing of YANGSTE INCIDENT was held at the Plaza Theatre in London.  The 1957 event was recorded by a British Pathe news cameraman  and can be viewed on Youtube.  [Watch Film]

What Lawrence Earl did do was write a radio play, based on his book YANGTSE INCIDENT, which was broadcast in England in 1960.

Many book reviewers and readers  have mis-perceived the identity of Lawrence Earl, and made assumptions.  I will explore this in Part 2 of my article. The persistent errors are due to Earl’s rigid adherence to an Anglo-Canadian identity, a persona that informs his writing style.  His adopted name was his permanent identity and he had it legally registered before his death.  His original Wikipedia page did not even mention that he was Jewish Canadian.  That has since been corrected.  Returning then, to the author’s dedication in YANGSTE INCIDENT, we read “To H.F.W.”   This was of course his father Herman F. Wiezel.  Mr. Earl would go on to dedicate his second book to his mother - “For Anna”.   The subject of his choosing to pass as an Anglo-Canadian was possibly a sensitive one at home, more so when he was starting out, but his family was always supportive and proud of him.  A lucrative literary career was launched and there was never any thought given of returning to the port of Saint John.