Readers rate our new look/Canada’s fastest writer/Mount Allison follies

December 1 1974


Readers rate our new look/Canada’s fastest writer/Mount Allison follies

December 1 1974


Readers rate our new look/Canada’s fastest writer/Mount Allison follies

I am really excited with the changes in the October edition of Maclean’s

— I have always liked the magazine of course but it seems to get better and better. Other people have had favorable comments also.


Okay, since you asked for it, a critique of your October issue. Bravo for the added columnists, and for the idea of the open back page (can Heather Robertson put out such inspired stuff on a monthly basis?); the new layout makes digestion much easier; the p i e c es were, as usual, beautifully varied and of interest to all Canadians

— and important, too, especially the excerpts from Barry Broadfoot’s book and the St. Roch story.

Two beefs: its least memorable and most superficial inclusion by far was the Toronto section—maybe because, unlike the rest of the magazine, there is little emphasis put on the people living there. This regional policy, by the way, contradicts what you’re all about — it assumes that we couldn’t be bothered reading in any depth about a part of Canada other than our own. Please don’t expand the size of Maclean’s too much more or I won’t be able to read it cover to cover the day it comes in the mail as I normally do.


The changes in Maclean’s announced in October’s issue deserve comment.

The inclusion of special sections for Toronto and BC in Canada’s national magazine in its own way reflects a

continuing problem in Canada’s nationhood. Once again those of us in the hinterland are being called upon to subsidize other parts, the richer parts, of the country. For the same subscription rate we get less magazine than our compatriots in Toronto and BC. Maclean’s twist is that now we are called upon to support not only southern Ontario but BC as well. At least my complaint cannot be interpreted as yet another Westerner griping about the East.


Congratulations on your October issue, especially the new section on BC!


The joy of writing

Would you kindly allow me to correct some of the errors and omissions in Alden Nowlan’s article, Paperback Hero (September).

I am not exclusively a paperback writer as indicated by the article. Robert Hale in London and Crown Publishers in New York issued a number of my books in hardcover only to be later published in paperbacks.

I did write a sex book and scrapped it without offering it to the publishers. I rewrote the basic story and published it in hardcover and softcover as a romance without sex.

I have been honored by both Boston University and the University of Utah, who are collecting my books. Boston University has my complete collection of papers and letters, Utah University my western books as a du-

plicate collection. In today’s mail I’m turning down an offer of University of Wyoming to collect my papers, so much for academic recognition!

In regard to my complaints about being a slave to my work it is a most pleasant slavery. I thought the writer interviewing me understood that. As to my living standards these are the standards I chose for myself, not the standards set by Riverside-Rothesay, where I happen to live. These are my standards and I make no apologies for them!

As to the worth of my work I think the number of faithful readers in the millions answer that very well. I write to offer entertainment and I believe that to be an honorable aim, and a worthwhile one. I have been anthologized in at least one Canadian story volume with the writer who interviewed me and in many others in the United States and other areas of the world.


It seems strange that Dan Ross, Paperback Hero (September), apparently is not aware that his friend, John Creasey, is dead. According to the World Almanac, Creasey had written 560 books when he died June 9, 1973. According to Ross, “Creasey, who’s a friend of mine, has done 400.”


Up against the wall

I can’t begin to tell you what pleasure I got out of reading the article The Way We Were At Mount Allison by Harry Bruce (September).

Being a graduate of the Commercial School (one-year course) and a little older vintage than Harry Bruce, it took me back 31 years to the Class of 1942. Even the walls looked familiar. The activities listed by Harry Bruce were the same in our day except it was during the war and troop trains were going through daily, often carrying someone from back home, and we would walk down to the CNR station to see them.

I have never been back to see Mount Allison since I left, and after reading the article I don’t think I want to as the so-called “new way of life” would destroy many beautiful memories. I can’t even imagine a man beyond the doors of the old UGR let






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Date of moving-


YOUR VIEW/continued

alone picture 30 to 50 male students standing nude in the lobby of the ladies’ residence. My biggest worry at the moment is: “Did I miss anything by being born 30 years too soon?” — I’ll never know.


If I enjoyed reading filth I would subscribe to Playboy.

I just read your article in the September issue, about Mount Allison University by Harry Bruce. I not only burned that magazine but every copy of Maclean’s there was in the house, for fear they would contain more articles of that kind.


Was Harry Bruce so involved in surreptitiously chasing girls at Mount Allison that he neglected his lessons in history?

Had Bruce done his homework on earlier societies, e.g., Egyptian, Chinese, Babylonian, Roman, Austrian, French, he would recognize the current Canadian sexual mores for what they are, not a breakthrough to sweet new freedoms for mankind but signs of a decaying society.


Trudeau revealed

Christina Newman’s article on the Liberal Party (October) touched me deeply. Probably without knowing it, she has written one of those perfectly right pieces that occasionally captures the spirit of one’s hometown or what it was like to be in college in the Fifties.

So much of what it is to be a sincere but quiet Liberal is what it is to be a Canadian in our day. Conservatives and socialists are sincere and usually quite thoughtful, but their ideologies come from abroad, the one from England, the other from socialist thinking in Europe. But Canadian Liberalism, as affirmed by Laurier when he broke from the Catholic bishops of Quebec, seeks the development of the individual with humor and justice and the preservation of our community and its institutions to see to it that justice and good humor prevail. Could I express what it is to be a Liberal poll captain, I would not be writing to you. It is because Christina Newman captures both the spirit of the times and has the right illustrations that I congratulate her.


YOUR VIEW/ continued

Airport 1975

The residents of Pickering Township, currently under notice of expropriation from three levels of government (for an airport, a city and garbage dumps) were pleased to see Robert Harlow’s article May Your House Be Safe From Bureaucrats (September).

Robert Harlow was in error when he wrote, “the Crown rebutted at length,” during the hearings for a new airport at Pickering. The then Minister of Transport, Don Jamieson, refused to allow the Crown to speak. We suffered the same fate — the report, strongly recommending against expropriation for an airport in Pickering, dropped, unheard, into limbo, or rather onto the desks of the airport planners in Ottawa. The planners wrote a rebuttal report and this is the only document the members of government ever saw.

On the strength of this rebuttal report the government announced within a month — in January 1973 — that expropriation for the Pickering airport would proceed. Most of the former landowners who have not already left have been given notice to vacate by June 1975 in order that the first runway can be started. It matters little that the report of the recent inquiry into the need of an airport at this time has yet to be presented.

As a warning to others who may contemplate the lawful action of demanding a public hearing to state their grievances against expropriation, the action cost more than $12,000 for legal fees and expert witnesses. The federal government has admitted responsibility for these costs, but after two years of trying we have been unable to recover this money.


The unquiet grave

I’m writing you regarding the story on Constable Neil Heddington (March). I believe I know what motivated him to take his own life.

I also was a member of the RCMP and was discharged as being invalidated when I tried to get transferred out of Toronto. I also am from a small Nova Scotian village and the shame I felt then, no man or boy (age 19) should feel. They gave me two alternatives: quit or be dis-

charged. Being stubborn, I took the latter. I’ve paid for that many times. I think Constable Heddington was offered the same alternatives.


YOUR VIEW/continued

Professional widow

I recall Betty Jane Wylie’s previous description in your magazine of her then recent crushing bereavement. I was touched by its sensitivity and found it to be a moving eulogy to the man with whom she had shared her life for so long.

Betty Jane’s current flogging of what she has obviously discovered is a big seller, The Joy of Fidelity (September), arouses only my resentment, pity and pure outrage.

I’m offended that Betty Jane would be so presumptuous as to pronounce other marriages, particularly nonmonogamous ones as being less than hers. She and her husband experienced their own unique, satisfying union, and I think that’s just fine. But she has no right whatsoever to suggest that her solitary experience, happy as it was, should become a published guide to others.

I feel pity for Betty Jane now. If her reaction is an example of what happens to someone who has been in a relationship in which the two people are “all things to each other” then I am most thankful that I don’t subscribe to that theory.

She is living in the past, bound not only by ghosts, but by a curious clinging to the myths that existed at the time she found her “true love.” At a time when she apparently ceased observing, except in a judgmental way, the changing mores in our society.

Betty Jane prefers the smug security of saintliness to the truths she might find, and enjoy, in the 1974 real world of relationships.


Seldom has an article in your magazine so warmed my heart as did The Joy Of Fidelity by Betty Jane Wylie (September). My heartiest congratulations to this wonderful woman.

My husband and I as a young couple (under 30) feel none of the pressure favoring infidelity. Our main concern is in the legacy this society will leave our two sons. Hopefully they will appreciate our values, including the function of the “hearts and wills” that Mrs. Wylie spoke of so that ! they too may live happily ever after. ¡ LINDA GIROUX, KAPUSKASING, ONT.