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When Edmonton Was Young


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About the Author

Popular historian Tony Cashman is the author of some fifteen books on Alberta topics. A former broadcaster with CJCA and CKUA, and company historian and museum curator for Alberta Government Telephones, Tony has lived in Edmonton a long time.


"In his 86 years, Tony Cashman has worn many artistic hats. The Edmonton resident has been a journalist, historian, museum curator and playwright. But two things have never changed--his deep and abiding love for a good story, and his deep and infectious love for his city. 'When you've been around since 1923, and you wake up in the morning, that's a blessing. When you wake up in Edmonton, that's a bonus.' The stories...introduce readers to a cast of colourful characters -- including pugilistic Joe Clarke, the populist mayor who impressed school kids by eating Jell-O with his knife; Rene Lemarchard, the retired French butler who built a real estate fortune on a foundation of recycled straight razors; Pon Yen, the Chinese restaurateur who became the city's Diamond King; and the Incredible Dr. True, who pulled teeth to amuse the crowds on Jasper Avenue. These are the tales Cashman heard when he was a kid, hanging out on his grandfather's porch, listening to the old-timers relive the glory days when they were adventurous young bucks in a young frontier city, where a fellow could make his fortune and make his mark... The Edmonton Cashman paints was a jolly spot, where people played harder, drank more joyfully and took wilder risks than they do today. A place where kids dammed Mill Creek as a swimming hole, where university students tied toboggans behind streetcars crossing the High Level Bridge, where striking printers shimmied up power lines at night to cut the power to The Journal's presses... The delight, and the gift, is that we still have Cashman as a living link to the Edmonton of 1885 and 1900, that he's still around to retell the stories he heard from his grandparents and their pals." Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal, June 28, 2009 "Cashman is a man of many words, but trying to pry personal details from his sharp mind is no easy task. Edmonton's most prominent historian has written more books than he can remember -- at least 16 -- and he has a story about everyone, but he is reluctant to talk about himself. Just finished his most recent book, When Edmonton Was Young, Cashman is one of the top 100 Edmontonians of the Century and has a place in the Edmonton Historical Hall of Fame. Provincial archivist Leslie Latta-Guthrie calls him 'The Stephen Leacock of Edmonton,' probably because there's always an element of humour and real life in his writing." Darcy Henton, Edmonton Journal, August 31, 2009 [Full article at wrote city colourful history/1947113/story.html] "When Edmonton Was Young discusses the capital of the province of Alberta, and tells its story. Edmonton was a rapidly growing town for much of its existence; author Tony Cashman spins an intriguing tale of the town's roots, its contributions to the nation of Canada, and its original culture. When Edmonton Was Young is a top pick for Canadian history collections." Midwest Book Review, January 2010 "The master Edmonton storyteller, Tony Cashman, has done it again..When Edmonton Was Young is a potpurri of some thirty-four stories, many based on the author's own experiences..There are also stories about notable Edmonton figures, such as the mayor, "Fighting Joe" Clarke, dentist Alex Goodwin, and lawyer F.C. Jamieson. These vignettes are delightful, as is the whole book." Alberta History, Spring 2010 "Edmonton was already in its teen years before author Tony Cashman was even born, but that didn't deter hm from dredging up some folk-loric gems like the Indiana Jones of local history..He might be in his 80s now but he still writes with force and verve in this new collection." Scott Hayes, The St. Albert Gazette, December 23, 2009 #8 on the Edmonton Journal "Edmonton Top 10" Bestseller list #3 on the Edmonton Journal "Edmonton Top 10" Bestseller list #1 on the Edmonton Journal "Edmonton Top 10" Bestseller list #8 on the Edmonton Journal "Edmonton Top 10" Bestseller list

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