General News

Yesterday is gone but the memories remain

December 1, 2020

Dec. 1, 2020

By Kristena Schutt-Moore

Yesterday is gone but the memories remain is both the sentiment and the title of the new book by local author Larry Hicks. 

The book follows a family on the homestead in the Barry’s Bay area that Hicks was born on in 1945. At the age of 19 he left the farm and went to the city for work. But he says you can take the boy or the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy, “You could set your clock by me. Every other weekend I was back at the farm.”

When Hicks retired at the age of 71, he moved back to the homestead. But he had found everything had changed and most of the people he grew up with gone. “I thought well the life I grew up in up here was so unique. I thought it was wonderful, and if I don’t write down the memories, they’re gone.”

At a young age Hicks would sit in the back of the kitchen and listen to what the neighbours were talking about with his dad when they came to visit, and loved the stories that would be told. “I’d be sitting there trying to be quiet so I wouldn’t get told to leave, but I’d be laughing my head off,” explains Hicks.

It was these stories, that were told around the homestead’s fireplace, that inspired Yesterday is gone but the memories remain. Other stories came from Hicks’ own experiences when he would “get into trouble” on the farm with his friends. 

While the names and places have been changed, the inspiration of the characters and the stories are as true to what Hick’s heard around the fireplace and to what he himself experienced with friends and family. The story follows the adventures of a character called Uncle Charlie. In some chapters the reader follows along on his antics, in others they listen along as he tells his nephews about his travels on ships and in lumber camps.

“The way they told stories back then, there was always a chuckle to them and they were always entertaining. They told them that way because there was no TV, no electronics, nothing. So, when they told stories they told them in a way that was interesting and they put a lot of humour into it,” Hicks explained. It is this spirit that he worked to capture into his book.

This is Hicks’ first book, but he has already started work on another that will focus on wilderness survival and hunting. Yesterday is gone but the memories remain is available at the Maple Leaf Country Store, Necessities Retail Store and Ashlie’s Book Store. Those who prefer to shop online can also find a copy on by searching the book’s title.



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