Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 6, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, febnnry 4, THI UTHMIDCt HWMO S Book reviews A tour through the frontier with Andy Focus on the University J. W. FISHBOURNE "Trills of Wanderer" by Andy Russell (2M pp. Alfred A. Knopf, distributed by Ran- dom of the happier occa- sions in a reporter's life when the opportunity of meeting and interviewing an interest ing personality arises. Last summer, such an occa- sion presented itself when this reviewer spent an afternoon with Andy Russell and his wife May The Hawk's Nest, their hilltop ranch near Waterton. Anyone who has heard Andy lecture on wildlife, or seen any of his excellent slides on the wilderness he is so familiar with, or listened to his stormy denunciation of a society which has heedlessly allowed the de- struction of our rivers and lakes upon which wildlife de- pends, will appreciate what a fascinating afternoon it was, but how difficult to go back to a typewriter and do justice to an absolutely amazing man. In his latest book. Trails of A Wilderness Wanderer, just off 'the press, everyone now has the opportunity of meeting Andy head on, so to speak. Beginning with his boyhood and the introduction he has to Alberta frontier life through the influence of his parents and grandparents, Andy takes us along with him through adoles- cence and adulthood by way of beautifully chosen word pic- tures. We see the St. Mary's River, a tribufary of the mighty Saskatchewan, near where he grew up and where he learned to fish and swim, and above all, where he dis- covered just how immensely important water is to the sur- vival of Man; of what happens to him (Man) he will owe his life to water, and unless fate decrees that it be melted from a polar ice cap, that water will come from a river. So the lives of men and rivers are tied inexorably and inseparably together and noth- ing can change that relation- ship." He traces for us by way of oft-told tales of the district, some of the problems of the Indians, pioneers and RCMP in the days when Alberta was vast emptiness, sparsely set- tled -and roamed over by un- counted species of wildlife. He relates many amusing anecdotes about some of the horses who served him so well over the years, for as he points out, ranchers and trail guides were dependent on well-chosen, highly-trained horses for the success of their operations. At the age of nineteen. Andy met and left home to work with outfitter and guide Bert Rig- gall, of whom he says "he was more than just a guide and outfitter; he was a world- recognized botanist and nat- uralist, author of some note, a great raconteur and a wonder- ful teacher." Riggall, an Englishman, had set off on a trip around the world but was so taken with Al- berta and the Rockies region he never left it. Under his tutelage and guidance, Andy Russell learned much about the wilderness and all it pre- sents as a challenge to man. Eventually he was to succeed Riggall -as one of the world's leading trail guides and nat- uralists. "All my life I have wandered the wild, high places of the Rockies. My trails have led me from the wilderness of the Salmon River country in Idaho to the old limestone domes and pinnacles of the north, where the shores of the Arctic Ocean rim the continent beneath flaming banners of the aurora borealis. In all this vastaess of mountains, gla- ciers, and twisting valleys, the south Canada Rockies strad- dling the continental divide be- tween Alberta and B.C. are my favorites. Here in places you can pour a pail of water out on the knife-edge of the divide to see half of it go tumbling down on the first long jump of its journey to the Hudson's Bay, and the rest of it fall down toward the blue waters of the Pacific." But alas, something insidious has been slowly encroaching on the wilderness. Man, and his disregard for nature have tip- ped the balance in favor of himself, and much of the wild- erness has been raped, its creatures becoming fewer each year, or being pushed far- ther and farther away to areas which Man will eventually pur- sue. Forty years after his early courtship with the wilderness Andy has this to say in Ms ex- cellent book: "Few fish of any kind live there now (the Sas- katchewan) and even when one is caught it cannot be eaten, for the smell of it frying would make a black bear gag in dis- gust the great Saskatch- ewan rolls in lazy turns and bends through folded hills, the whole river system is foul with waste." "Tbe tons of the pioneers, full of teal for profits and so- called progress, toe blind members of chambers of com- merce, have contrived to turn a beautiful river into an open wwer I am glad I am not a boy again with no wild place to grow up His first book, Grizzly Coun- try, has become a classic of its kind. Doubtless Andy Rus- sell': T r a i 1 s of a Wilderness Wanderer will run it a close race. It contains so many lit- tle stories of Alberta life it should be required reading by students whose Literature re- quirements sometimes list pe- culiar choices. This reviewer was family surprised at some of the poetry of the descriptive passages in the book. Andy doesn't seem the poetic type but you can never tell. Also, a Canadian can easily spot an American publisher for they are inclined to tamper; e.g. we never say first grade, second grade. It's definitely grade one, grade two, and so on. 'Then too, from time (o time it seemed as if Andy, in his recollection of "frontier" life must be about 102 instead of a healthy, youthful 55. But no matter, this book is a dandy, one which Alber- tans will be able to point to with pride and all readers gob- ble up with considerable inter- est. MARGARET LUCKHURST. Transfer of credit Now where will I go? by Walter Kerber She spread sunshine and cast shadows "Storming Heaven: The Lives and Turmoils of nit Kennedy and Aimee Semple McPherson" by Late- ly Thomas (Morrow, 362 pages. distributed by George J. McLeoci, TV3RING a working stint in a British Columbia log- ging camp I encountered a rather dissolute character who contended there were easier ways to make a living and said he was considering either taking up a racket or becom- ing an evangelist. The jolt of such cynicism was equalled only by the disillusion engen- dered by the fact that he was ultimately accepted into a po- lice force. Despite our exposure to the theological dictum that all men (and women) are sinners, we like to think that evangelists and policemen are a notch or two above the common run of people. That they should have any kinship with racketeers is generally unthinkable. The fact that there is usually a hubbub when such connections are oc- casionally revealed simply un- derlines its unexpectedness. It is doubtful if me famous evangelist Aimee Semple Mc- Pherson and her mother Min- nie "Ma" Kennedy should be called religious racketeers. But there is little doubt that they had feet of clay and yielded to avarice, lust, and other human failings. Lately Thomas, who has written about their lives and turmoils, refrains from passing judgment on them but the story itself spares them little. Aimee Semple McPherson was a woman possessing ter- rific drive and also was pos- sessed, it seems, by powerful demonic forces. She went at a pace that would exhaust most times it got the bet- ter of her, too, and she would experience breakdown or have to take a cruise. But the de- mands of her enterprise may not have been the only cause of 'her health problems. The hi- atus between her preaching and performance must have generated a great deal of guilt and anxiety which can take a toll worse than physical and emotional exertion. Mother and daughter were both strong willed women which almost inevitably brought them into conflict with one another. Eventually the conflict erupted into public view in a court case. It wasn't the first or the last time that Aimee was in court. Indeed, Why is the sand gray? "The complete uncensored Babi Yar" by A. Anatoli (Clarke Irwin and Co.; 477 pages. TN the lovely old city of A Kiev, capital city of the Soviet Ukraine, there was an enormous ravine called Babi Yar, "deep and wide like a mountain gorge." As a child of 12, A. Anatoli lived in Kiev with his mother, his grand- parents and his cat, Titus. He was there when (lie Germans came in triumph; he was there when they left in defeat; he was there when the Russian "saviors" arrived. All this time the boy lived on anything he could scrounge from garbage heaps or steal 'anywhere at all. During that time he was cu- rious about what was going on behind the electrified fences that blocked the way to Babi Yar, and the retreat of the German had been com- pleted, he went there with a friend to find out and to check on the truth of the sto- ries some of his friends had told him. The boys found the little stream that had trickled down the bottom of the gorge in the years before the war, had almost disappeared, and in one place the sand had turned grey. They were treading on human ashes. They walked on boys are strangely unper- turbed by the implications of such experience and Anatoli says that he picked up a heavy chunk of solidified ash to keep. It contained "the ashes of many people, all mixed up to- sort of international mixture." Well over people, including Jews went into the mix. It was then that Anatoli knew he mast write down what happened and how it happened. He calls Babi Yar a "document in the form of a novel" and says there is no literary in- vention anywhere in it. It is all true he insists and I for one believe him, even though I found it too painful to read all the details. When the "liberating" arm- ies approached Kiev from the East, the refugees streamed westward, but Anatoli remain- ed hidden while the Germans frantically tried to destroy Babi Yar and what was left of the city of Kiev. What he has to say about the Russians themselves is scarcely better than that which is known of the Nazi occupation. (As I have already confessed I could not complete the whole book; there is a limit to the horror the human mind can Some of this book was pub- lished in the Soviet Union, but only parts of it. Much of tha material that might be consid- ered anti-Communist was de- leted. Kuznetsov escaped to England by fooling the au- thorities, who would certainly have prevented him if they had had an inkling of what he was up to. He had on his person the photographs of the original manuscript of all his works in- cluding Babi Yar, which has now been published, with add- ed comment, and the deleted portions printed in heavy type, Kuznetsov arrived in En- gland in midsummer of 1969 and intends to remain there. He has renounced his surname, and wishes to be known as A. Anatoli. JANE HUCKVALE court cases became so fre- cuent that, eventually the Los Angeles Times proposed a news moratorium on the fam- ily quarrels; The whole husi- iiess had become boring. At first, however, the pres- ence of Aimee in court had been sensational. She had dis- appeared while swimming and weeks later turned up in Ari- zona with an unbelievable story about having been kid- nipped. This mysterious (not "mystic" as Thomas labels it, surely) event was never legal- ly settled but it was obvious that what had happened was that Mrs. McPherson had run off with Mr. Onniston, her ra- dio operator. After this sad occurence, Ai- mee went through money in great amounts. Thomas offers no explanation of where it went so that one is left with the sus- picion that it became hush money. The thought that the offerings of pious people were probably used for purposes rather far removed from build- ing the Kingdom of God doubt- less troubles some. Yet Aimee snfi her mother put on a good show for their people so that they probably got their mon- ey's worth. As Aimee herself said, "The people can't get anything at the theatre that we haven't got." Ma Kennedy put on her own show after she split with her daughter. Her show was free. It consisted of her marriage to a ne'er do well who was promptly claimed by a couple of other women as their hus- band. In the end Mrs. Kennedy got disentangled from the fel- low after having given the world a laugh. Happy birthday "Passenger To Frankfurt" Agatha Christie (Collins: 256 pps.l. 1JER eigthieth birthday, her eigthieth mystery and Agatha Christie has lost none of the old expertise. If anything her imagination has soared fur- ther than ever into the blue yon- der, into the world of interna- tional intrigue, of desperate people up- to no good, hiding away in luxurious European castles laying their diabolical plots, weaving their evil plans. Poirot isn't around this time, but the sophisticated underdog of the diplomatic service. Sir Stafford Nye, is there, and a beauteous countess involves him in an affair of the heart as well as a subUely laid plan to foil the evil-doers. It's all about as far-out as you'd care to go, but in the end Agatha makes sure that reviving the spirit of Nazism won't succeed. It gives her a chance to sound off on y o u t h ful anarchists, pseudo- Communists and others, all in the comfortable atmosphere of elegant surroundings and ex- quisite manners. More power to y o u Agatha, and happy birth- day! JANE HUCKVALE. There was a tragic strain in the story of Aimee and her mother that make me much more sympathetic toward them than I expected to be when I started to read the book. They needed to be loved intimately as well as publicly but somehow the kind of life a show person lives doesn't seem to sustain an intimate love re- lationship. A significant com- ment is made by Thomas about this when he mentions the breakup of Aimee's daugh- ter Roberta's marriage. Thom- as says, "Smytne had been un- able to adapt himself to the kind of perpetual turmoil in which everyone connected with Angelus Temple seemed to live." Aimee's ministry was worth- while despite the unfortunate SDL bizarre things associated with it. In his brief account of the evangelist, Carey McWil- liams in the book "The Aspirin spoke of the sunshine in her soul. She was able to in- ject some of that sunshine into the drab lives of many people by abjuring hell- fire preaching and giving her followers instead, "flowers, music, golden trumpets, red robes, angels, incense, non- sense, and sex appeal." Sister McPherson was rightly proud of the Angelus Temple Prayer Tower where relays of people maintained an uninterrupted prayer vigil for many years. As Thomas says, "la aa era of flagpole sitters, marathon dancers, six-day bicycle races, sitdown strikes, and general church enfeeblement, the self- less dedication displayed was impressive." Moreover, the An- gelus temple and the Four- square Gospel movement sur- vived the death of the evangel- ist who founded them. Some people in Lethbridge wil' remember Aimee Semple McPherson's visit here in the early twenties before she was a regular front-page story. And everyone who read the newspa- per during the twenties and thirties will recall the sensa- tions she created. It will be re- vived in Lately Thomas' inter- esting recital of the story of the evangelist and her mother. It seems too bad that a man who has immersed himself in the study of his subjects for twelve years did not attempt more than recounting what happened. Some assessment of why these women were like they were would have been warranted and welcomed. The lack of such probing makes the book much less valuable than might otherwise have been the case. An oddity about the book is resort to some rather unusual words or construction of words such as: bizarrerie (p. avouching (p. rantipoled (p. pejorated (p. su- pernacular (p. Maybe the subjectmatter naturally spawned them and also tha namo "Lately" which the New York Times book reviewer says is a pseudonym. DOUG WALKER, AS long as there are different kinds of post-secondary institutions, there will be students wishing to transfer from one to another. And as long as students, trans- fer, there will be arguments about the credit they receive at the new place for work completed at the old. A case in point is the never-ending debate over the amount of degree credit Alberta universities will grant in consideration of work completed at provincial colleges. I do no aspire to settle that particular argument, but I would like to make a few comments that might- shed a bit of light on the subject. (Really, there should not be any argu- ment at all. The facts of the matter are perfectly clear, and readily accessible to anyone who takes the trouble to inquire. However, misinformation seems to be even more readily available.) The first point to note is that in this province only the universities, among the various educational institutions, are em- powered to grant degrees. Only the uni- versities, therefore, are expected to offer academic courses and programs leading to degrees. It follows that it must be the uni- versities that determine whether or not any particular course of studies, wherever taken, merits inclusion in the degree pro- grams they offer. In this particular province, there are several other types of post-secondary educa- tional institutions. Most of them are called colleges. One type, the junior college, may enter into an affiliation agreement with a university. With such an agreement, the junior college is enabled to offer certain university courses. These courses are part of the curriculum of the affiliated univer- sity, which determines the course content and approves the credentials of the instruc- tor. A student who successfully completes such a course automatically is granted full credit toward the appropriate degree of the affiliated university, or any other univer- sity in this province, without the slightest question. This has been the case for years. Naturally, junior colleges have programs other than university courses, and so do community colleges, agricultural colleges, institutes of technology, and all sorts of other institutions. These courses are not covered by any agreement with a univer- sity, are offered without relation to univer- sity curricula, by instructors the universi- ties have never heard of, possessing whatever credentials a college finds ap- propriate. They can be called by any name the college chooses, and numbered in what- ever fashion and at whatever level the col- lege thinks best for its purposes. It is concerning these courses that an ar- gument for university degree credit is fre- quently attempted. Except for the o'ca- sional soft-hearted concession, universities generally reject the argument, on the per- fectly sensible grounds that there is no rea- son why they should grant credit for these courses, and very good reason why they should not. One perfectly good reason why should not give university credit for non- university courses is a matter of level. Al- most any subject can be taught at sev- eral different levels. Take Canadian his- tory, for instance. As will be remembered by anyone who attended school in those unenlightened days when Canadian history was thought a fit subject for Canadian school children, it was the most frequently recurring topic in the history courses we took each year. I am sure I spent four or five years on Canadian history during my school days, and perhaps more. At the university I finally attended, there was a freshman course in Canadian history and a second year history course entitled Can- ada. At the senior undergraduate level, there were quite a number of history courses dealing with various topics of Ca- nadian history, and even more at the grad- uate level. In short, a subject can be taught at a level appropriate to elementary school children or to graduate students, or any- where in between, from which I derive nty point that universities can only be ex- pected to grant credit for a course if they can be sure it is at university level. Generally speaking, courses offervd in colleges except for those covered by the affiliation agreements mentioned above are not at university level. And if by any Chance they are, there is something se- 'riously wrong. Colleges are established with certain specific goals in mind, and provided (at public expense) with the re- sources to meet those particular goals. While the purposes they serve are every bit as meritorious as those of the universi- ties, colleges are not in the business of pre- paring students for university degrees. It is my contention, therefore, that if they are indeed offering university level courses, they are usurping a function of the university, misapplying the resources with which they are provided, and squand- ering tax money in needless duplication of something the universities are far better equipped to handle. And if they are not offering university level courses, what's the argument? The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORI.EY Reflections on our TJESPITE the profileration of new na- tions in Africa and. Asia, nothing is more typical of our times than the drive to international unity. Through conven- tions and conferences, through the Inter- national Court of Justice and the Euro- pean Communities Court, international law slowly emerges. The International Labor Organization the International Civil Avia- tion Organization, the Universal Postal Union, and the United Nations with scores of bodies like the World Health and Food and Agriculture Organizations make for a single homogeneous world communtiy. The idea is as old as the Hebrew pro- phets and the Apocalypse of St. John. Confucius in The Book of Rites proclaimed the ideal society of all mankind with the abolition of private property and the crea- tion of a welfare state. His disciple, K'ang Yu-Wei in "The One World Book" (1902) saw the creation of a world order in which all distinctions, national, regional, family, and religious, were abolished. Indian mys- tics also believed in successive higher syn- theses until at last differences dissolved in a universal order. The arrogance of Plato and Aristotle re- garded the rest of mankind as barbarians and slaves, giving their loyalty to the city state. But the Sophists and the Stoics pro- claimed the unity of mankind and his pre- destination to a world community. The very word coined by the Cy- nics, means "world city." Such teaching percolated through the Roman mind and produced the Roman concept of universal law. Tbe Stoic Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, declared himself a world citizen. Alexan- der the Great through his conquests broke down the division of East and West and the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian, would dream of world unity in his codification of laws. Christians like Eusebius heralded the coming world order under Constantino and the Christian faith. Charlemagne put on Constantino's mantle and created the dream that would haunt mankind for cen- turies of The Holy Roman Empire. The theme never lost its prophets. Russia has always had this sense of mes- sianic mission to unify mankind. One finds it in all their great writers and leaders. The Communist world commonwealth has no less passion for a world commonwealth under Russian domination than had tha Czars and religious leaders of old Russia. Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev all held this faith in Communist destiny to es- tablish, a world state. The West should study more profoundly this dynamism at the heart of both Russian and faith, especially since faith in democracy is being lost in Canada and the United States in the name of what C. Wright Mills calls "crackpot realism." Despite the fearful decadence of Western society a number of brilliant thinkers have emerged who in their very gloomy prog- nosis of social ills yet see world unify oa the horizon. Some like Julian Huxley and Teilhard de Chardin, poles apart in their religious thinking, yet agree that man will inevitably find unity through biological evolution. Just as fatalistically Arnold Toynbee and the Russian-Harvard Pitirim Sorokin hold to an organic growth of world culture and civilization. Karl Jaspers and Lewis Mumford are both profoundly pessi- mistic also about the short-range view ot human history, but equally prophetic of a semi-religious goal of history. Indeed all the first-rate political and economic philo- sophers believe that the survival of the human race depends upon the establish- ment of a world federal government. It is difficult to be hopeful that such a political unity will come in this century however desirable it may be. No major nation today will agree to any compulsory world law, nor would they agree to dis- mantle their military forces for a United Nations police force. One day these things may come, but they are a long way off and it will require more dreadful wars than the last to bring them about. Indeed critics of a world government declare it would result in tyranny and sterility, even if it could be brought about. A world gov- ernment must come through world commu- nity and world culture and cannot be im- posed by conscious contrivance. The King- dom of God comes not with observation warned Jesus, but like the mustard seed or the leaven. But the basic problem a how sinful men can make a good society it any level. What a vietv! By Doug Walker TIAVE and Anne Rogers, visiting at our house along with a few other friends, spent some time exulting over the mag- nificent view they once had out of the pic- ture window of their house. The location was on one of the islands off the British Columbia coast looking out on the sea lane. It must have been the view out our front window that reminded them of how fortu- nate they had once been. When you look out our picture window your gaze falls on the Haworth's fence! Needless to say, I don't spend much lime looking out that window. There is nothing wrong with the fence that Jack built but, after all, it is A FENCE.