South End Boy
Growing up in Halifax in the tumultuous '30s and '40s
In this memoir Jim Bennet introduces us to Halifax of the 1930s and ’40s: one full of coal smoke and rival gangs, chuffing freight trains and pine tar soap. He takes the reader along with him ”down the bank” and off to adventures all over the city’s south end and beyond, offering a glimpse of childhood where a young boy had free rein far beyond his backyard.
For Jim and his neighbours, the playground was the seashore, the tracks, the ponds and parks, the tramcars, the Commons, the Citadel, and more. Through his eyes, we see the impact caused by the Second World War on daily family life.
Jim Bennet’s recall of the details of ordinary life — seen from the perspective of a boy growing up into his teens — and his gift for storytelling are evident in this enjoyable book. It will bring memories flooding back for some readers; for others, it offers a window into adolescence at a time when the world was rapidly changing.
JIM BENNET is well-known as a CBC radio and television performer and songwriter. He is the author of books, documentaries, and poems centred on his native Nova Scotia. His light-hearted songs, such as "Black, Rum and Blueberry Pie," "Thick o' Fog" and "Nova Scotia Diet," are perennial favourites from campfires to concert halls and have been performed by many acclaimed Canadians, including Anne Murray, the Jubilee Singers, and astronaut Chris Hadfield. Jim is now retired and living in the downtown centre of his favourite city in the world, Halifax.