Photos:”Lanark County Comfort” Book Launch

“Now close your eyes, and click your heels together and say,

“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

Glinda, the good witch, ‘Wizard of Oz’, 1939

There’s No Place Like Home

Is there anything prettier than Lanark County on a warm September day? Maybe Dorothy’s greatest wish was to return to Kansas, but I can think of nothing better than spending the afternoon back on Gore Street in Perth. Oh the memories of this very building, 60 Gore St. East, once the home of Haggis Candy, and all of their mouth-watering treats! Many afternoons were spent in this very place, watching in wonder as Sophia Haggis stirred her mammoth cauldrons of maple fudge, and horehound candy. And the street in front of the store? I close my eyes and picture the sleek rumbling muscle cars in the 1970s, squealing their tires at the traffic lights, parading up and down Gore and Foster Streets showing off their shiny rims and sporty wide tires. Yes, it’s a place where memories come flooding back, like the tasty donuts at Oakes’ Bakery, or stopping for fries and gravy at The Tea Room, and the unforgettable rock and roll music at the legendary Pant Barn Dances.

It’s true, there’s nothing better than a trip back to the old stomping grounds, and the book launch for “Lanark County Comfort” was a special day indeed. One of the best things about it was seeing the new faces, mixed in with the faces from the past. It was a day for new friendships, and for reconnecting with high school friends, and ‘kids’ (older now) from the neighborhoods of Christie Lake and DeWitt’s Corners.

The day was incredibly busy, which didn’t always leave much chance for long conversations, but still, it was a wonderful day to chat about preserving the stories, of the people and places that might otherwise be forgotten. These people and places of our past, are so important to our history, and such a delight to record the memories and stories so that they will be captured for future generations.

Sat. Sept. 11th, 2021 at

The Book Nook & Other Treasures

photo: Arlene Stafford-Wilson with Leslie Wallack, owner of The Book Nook & Other Treasures

Arlene Stafford-Wilson at the book table

Calvin Church keyboardist Bev Miller Ferlatte with Arlene Stafford-Wilson at the book table

Former PDCI Classmate Paul Duffy with Arlene Stafford-Wilson

There were many members of the Oakes family in attendance at the book launch. The history of their well-loved business, Oakes Bakery, is included in the new book.

Some visitors came to purchase the new book as gifts for birthdays and for Christmas

Almost all books were inscribed with the reader’s name, and some with special messages

Iqbal Umar, contributor to story of Oakes Bakery (and PDCI alumni)

Terry Restoule (former PDCI classmate) with Andrea, and Arlene Stafford-Wilson

It was a special day to meet some new readers, and to catch up with former friends with lots of PDCI alumni in attendance. A special thanks to those who traveled long distances to be there, and to those faithful readers who come to every book launch.

A big thanks to the people who shared their memories and recollections

of the special people and places in the stories:

Oakes Bakery story:

Kristine Oakes, Tom Oakes, Shirley Oakes, Kurt Davis, Don McAdam, Iqbal Umar, and Gerry Huddleston.

Pant Barn Dances story:

Perry Weagle, Debi Cavanagh Sparks, and Eric Devlin.

Calvin United Church 125th Anniversary story:

Rev. Micheline Montreuil, Beverly Miller Ferlatte, Pastor George Closs, and Margery Conboy.

Flower Station story:

Julia Crosbie James, Dave Crosbie, and Marilyn Lalonde Manson

Arliedale Lodge Story:

Kathy Groom Stewart, Maria Groom McDonald, Alan Jordan, Les Peters, Brooke Briggs, Bob Burch, Betty Crandall, and Meg Crandall Ford.

Many thanks to Leslie Wallack and her staff at The Book Nook & Other Treasures, for hosting the event.

(and to my husband, Kevin Wilson for his help throughout a very busy day!)

(There are some signed copies still available at The Book Nook – 613-267-2350)

and at The Bookworm, 76 Foster St., Perth, ON 613-264-7257

or at

Stafford House – Christie Lake Road – Third Line of Bathurst (Tay Valley Township) Lanark County – the author’s childhood home.

“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

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