The book pictured here isn’t actually the one I read — I read a much older, now-out-of-print collection of Russell’s “Uncle Mose” stories, called Tales of Pigeon Inlet, but many o the same stories are in both and this is the one you’ll find on a bookstore shelf today if you go looking for Ted Russell’s stories.
For those who don’t know, these stories were originally broadcast on local CBC radio in the 1950s and went on to have new life as a TV series, recordings, stage plays and on the printed page. Russell’s stories, usually short and funny, captured life in a fictional Newfoundland outport, Pigeon Inlet, during the years when the traditional fishing lifestyle was just beginning to be a thing of the past. He was interested in preserving that lifestyle and the “characters” of the outports and though some may argue that he idealized outport life, these stories, which were always intended to be light rather than serious, are charming in the best possible sense and really do capture a slice of life from a time that now seems impossibly long ago. These stories are well worth a read, or a re-read if you haven’t been introduced to them before.