My young family and I were travellers when the children were little, and from 1976 to 1987 we lived winters in Winnipeg and summers in the Maritimes, where we split our time between New Brunswick on a little island and Nova Scotia in the big city, Halifax. We listened to CBC radio obsessively and also had memorized Stan’s songs through the winter so we could sing them while we drove across the country. The oldest boy would start the verses of “Barrett’s Privateers” and the rest of us would chime in on the chorus. Now the family has spread out over Canada and the United States and only visit the Maritimes when we can. All of us sing the songs, though, wherever we are. As a long-time Winnipeg Folk Festival volunteer, I stand on main stage and sing out “The Mary Ellen Carter” and weep each year, it moves me so much.
—Anna Nault, Winnipeg