|Rita in Ymir last fall, hard at work on The Third Crop|
The Third Crop is the story of the Slocan Valley from the 1800s to the early 1940s. It has over 160 photographs culled from government archives and personal collections, with Rita weaving the stories she discovered into an wonderfully cohesive whole. The Third Crop is Rita's fourth book. It's published by Sono Nis Press.
The Slocan Valley is an absolutely stunning part of south eastern British Columbia, conveniently located right near where I live in the West Kootenays. I've been going there since I was a kid and to this day it remains, for me, a step back in time. Oh, it's got all the modcons—cell phones, somewhat regrettably, actually work here and there in the valley now and you can get high-speed Internet, but drive the highway or one of the less traveled roads that follow the meandering Slocan River and you'll be bewitched by the beauty of the place in any season.
I will admit to having a bit of a soft spot for the area because Ted and I got married at the Vallican Whole, where Rita's launch will take place. (One of our guests who was from Toronto went for a walk in the woods at one point and came back rhapsodizing because she'd encountered a deer. There's always some form of wildlife to admire; not always human.) The Whole is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month with a weekend party August 26-28.