Marie Anne McLean - Stories from the Prairies
Marie Anne McLean has been storytelling with TALES – The Alberta League Encouraging Storytelling since 1986. She has collected stories from Veterans of the D-Day Landing in World War ll and of the depression experiences of her grandparents in Scotland and on the Canadian Prairies. Marie Anne tells original stories of people in towns such as Thumbprint and Weed Creek in rural Saskatchewan. She loves to tell of these little places that have helped to form our individual and national characters. She also has a special fondness for Celtic stories.About the Recordings
Edmonton-based Marie Anne McLean’s three-CD audio recording was officially released at the 2009 Annual Conference of the SC-CC held in Victoria, B.C. July, 2009.
The stories Marie Anne McLean tells have a range as wide as the prairies themselves. From family stories of immigration to stories of life in small prairie towns, to recounting the experiences of young men from the farms storming the beach on D-Day, she gives us an unforgettable glimpse of everyday heroes.
In Her Own Words
CD #1 Thumbprint Stories
The Thumbprint stories began when my brother was a young constable in the R.C.M.P. He was posted in a town where they installed a fountain. Brian Mulroney came to open it and the fountain overflowed making a big mess. While I was visiting, they came for their 10 P.M. coffee break at the house because I had brought some special coffee. They made me laugh so hard telling me about it that I thought ¨there’s a story that I should tell¨. After I got it to work, I realized that I loved that town so I just told about some more things that I think would happen there. It is all about little towns and the people who love them.
CD #2 War Stories
In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, I went with veterans on a pilgrimage to the scenes of the battles of the Royal Winnipeg Rifle Regiment, from the landing to the last battle in Appingedam in Holland. The war stories are the recollections of some fine old gentlemen who shared their experiences with me. It became my task to pass them on. They have given me an honour that is also a duty. These stories aren’t about the decisions of statesmen and generals. They are the stories of what it’s like to be young and afraid and brave and sad in a dangerous time. All the men in these stories were in their twenties or younger (including the colonel). Not one of them talked about their own courage. They just told the stories. In turn I hope that they will be passed along.
CD #3 Family Stories
The Family Stories are just what they say. Each one grew out of something experienced by someone in my family. I lived in a place without TV until I was about ten. For eight of those years, I lived in the same town as my paternal grandparents, so I was heard their stories of the farms. My mother was a war bride, and far from her family. She told me stories about all of them so that I could feel some connection to them. Both my parents’ childhood stories were of trying to make the best out of living through hard times. It would be hard not to tell stories if you come from my family.
Marie Anne McLean