Pubs, Pulpits and Prairie Fires

By Elroy Deimert  

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History professor Paul Wessner hangs out at BJ’s Bar and Cue Club on Tuesday nights sharing his accounts of the On-to-Ottawa Trek and the Regina Riot in 1935. Due to local interest in his research, he invites Doc Savage and Matt Shaw, real-life leaders on the Trek, to deliver first-hand accounts of the Trek and the Riot. He encourages listeners to contribute when no guests are scheduled to tell their stories. The narratives broaden to the evolution of the Social Credit and CCF prairie fires and their lasting legacies in Canada. Great Depression police tactics are compared to the repression of dissent at the Battle of Seattle and the Quebec Summit of the Americas. The audience at BJ’s Bar end up on their own odysseys, discovering that they are actually a part of the narratives that are shared on Tuesday nights. Paul’s own journey pulls both the readers and his weekly pub colleagues into the middle of the living oral history.

Roseway Publishing

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  • The Prologue—Late-Night Rambles
  • Seeds of the Trek in Mouseland
  • Where the Trek Begins
  • Evolution, McCarthy & Medicare In Mouseland
  • Vancouver Spring
  • Gideon’s Band
  • Bread and Roses, Vancouver 1935
  • Wade in the Water, Children Loaves and Fishes
  • Bible Bill and the Major
  • This Train Am Bound For Glory
  • Jerusalem to Jericho
  • Dead Men Walking the Talk
  • The Slim Evans Story
  • High Noon
  • By Might and By Power
  • The Right Reverend Samuel East Dominion Day Fireworks 1935, Regina
  • I am Canadian History
  • Allegiances


  • Elroy Deimert

    Elroy Deimert is a city alderman, a college instructor of English literature, and a political activist in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Besides being on the national executive of the NDP, he is also the author of the novel Engedi and of several dramatic monologues produced by the CBC.

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