Tall Tales: A Sprawling Family History

Tessa: My mom just left after visiting for two weeks from Port Credit, a small town just outside Toronto that lies on the southern end of Lake Ontario where I grew up.

My mom is interesting for a number of reasons, most of them too complicated to get into but one of the things that I like about her is that she, like my father, is an interesting storyteller. My father was more of a tall tales kinda guy who would wow you with stories from his life that were so outrageous that you knew that only some of it could be true if anything at all.

My mother, on the other hand, is less a storyteller than she is someone who has led an interesting life and from time to time she shares it with you. I used to joke and say that I was the offspring of two lying, thieving bon vivants so how could I ever be expected to have any moral compass…and while this is obviously not completely true, except in my father’s case, in which he did go to jail for seven years for defrauding a company, amongst other things….my mother is less a liar, and maybe more of something along the lines of a petty thief and only against my brother on occasions when she feels particularly hard done by him.

So all in all I realize that my family life and lore, amidst its sordidness and its glory is fertile ground for retelling and that’s what I hope to do here from time to time. Because of my own hazy memory and the nature of my parents’ storytelling alot of it will of course be bull, but I will recount the best I can the basic framework on which I can hang these tall tales.

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