A new book about Vanderhoof called Every Little Scrap and Wonder has been published recently and The Express reached out to the author Carla Funk, to get an insight into her fondest memories growing up in rural B.C.
“The book is a love letter to Vanderhoof,” Funk says.
Growing up in a Mennonite family in Vanderhoof, Funk says her memories from the time she lived in this town revolve around food, church, pig butchering season in the Fall, annual community carol, Fall Fair, her time working at The Express and others.
She has an entire piece in the book about the annual community carol singing and Reader’s Digest is pushing that story as well, Funk said.
“I think the fact that there was an entire cross section of the town that came together for this annual tradition. As a child going for it, it felt like a little bit of a kick off to Christmas season. There was a sort of magic to it,” she said.
Funk went on to narrate a story about John Zandbergen, the town barber at the time she was growing up.
Zandbergen had the starring role as the whistling soloist, says Funk humored, adding he would have a backing track as well.
Another fond memory for Funk was the Fall Fair. She said she was only involved in 4-H for a year.
“Once I understood the whole narrative scope of what it means to raise an animal and where the animal goes, it was enough for me,” Funk said.
The annual ping-pong drop that happened at the Vanderhoof co-op mall is another memory that sticks out for her. During the event, a forestry helicopter would hover over the co-op parking lot and dump hundreds of ping-pongs into the lot.
Vanderhoofians of all ages would scramble to catch these ping-pong balls and if you had a numbered one, you would go into co-op and pick your corresponding prize, Funk explained.
“It was so strange. When I tell people about it who haven’t grown up in small towns, they think why would you do it? But it was fantastically magical when I was a kid. So they need to bring that back in Vanderhoof again,” she said.
For Funk, the idea to write this book came from the fact that she is always interested in the concept of memories and why we remember what we do. She began the book as an exploration of childhood memories in particular.
“What I began to realize is that there is something very particular and peculiar about growing up in a small town that really shapes the way you see the world when you leave that town,” Funk said.
Her time working at The Express cemented the idea that she wanted to study writing. Funk graduated in 1992 from Nechako Valley Secondary School and the same year she left for Victoria to go to university.
She has lived in Victoria ever since, but says a lot of her family and relatives are still in Vanderhoof.
Funk has written five poetry books and Every Little Scrap and Wonder, published by Greystone Books, is her book of prose.
She started working on this book four years ago and it was published on Oct. 15, 2019.
“It started out with one story and grew into an entire manuscript”, Funk said. Additionally a second book, a sequel to Every Little Scrap and Wonder is being completed by her now.
If you are looking to buy the book, you can find it online or in most major book stores across the province.