Sunday, July 10, 2022

The “Cliff notes” version?

Is quicker always a good idea?

 Some time ago, perhaps last year, I wrote a rhyme about the story in the first novel I released, “The Great Liquor War”. I really don’t know when, but it would have been sometime in the last three years while I was unloading Diesel fuel into a large tank. I wrote or at least started several that way.

Whatever the time I recently recorded that rhyme and thirteen more on a CD. I’ve also collected a few pictures that, though they aren’t timed perfectly to the recitation are pertinent to the story.

I created the original story around a historical event, a disagreement between a police force created in 1859 and an upstart force created in 1873 called the North West Mounted Police.

This little video presented here is perhaps the “Cliff notes” version of the novel – definitely shorter – but its all entertainment.

I hope!

Or, at least that was my plan!


Thursday, June 9, 2022

Let Us Un-build It!


We built this! So let’s un-build it!

Rachel Joy Scott

          Recently there have been several, outrageous, disgusting, violent actions taken against people just like you – yes, you – by individuals who, on first glance, may have appeared to be human. However, their subsequent and in many cases final despicable actions brand them as barely worthy of that designation. At the very least their names and biographies should be erased from human history.

          At the same time, efforts of the majority of those attempting to augment their own histories though they be not immediately part of or directly attached to these disasters should also be roundly condemned. This refers primarily to legislators creating importance for their own positions where, truly, little importance beyond simple management exists or will ever be required.

          To demonstrate the point and offer some support for my opinion I offer a portion of an address made by Darrel Scott of Littleton, Colorado to the US Congress special session of the House Judiciary Committee on December 12, 2012 which I believe should be studied by legislators in every Provincial, State or Federal government in all countries who claim any form of democracy --- weak or strong as that claim may be.

          Mr. Scott was the father of Rachel Scott, one of the first, if not the first victim assassinated in the Columbine School Massacre of April 20, 1999.

Darrel Scott during his presentation


          "Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.

“I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

 Your laws ignore our deepest needs,

Your words are empty air.

You've stripped away our heritage,

You've outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms,

And precious children die.

You seek for answers everywhere,

And ask the question "Why?"

You regulate restrictive laws,

Through legislative creed.

And yet you fail to understand,

That God is what we need!


"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

 (Actual statistics concerning the restricted verses increased access to privately owned firearms )

           In the ten years since Mr. Scott delivered that statement there have been increasing attacks on education. (Not to be confused with the actual physical attacks on educators and students.) Attacks on the need for the strengthening of spiritual health and mental stability and reduced funding and access for treatment of PDSD, a very high percentage of which was created by societal stress or actions supported by society in general. There has been an increase in, a further or more general acceptance of – and even financial support for – the use of mind altering, hallucinogenic and often deadly drugs. Attempts to change the history that, right or wrong, created the societies that exist today and which are ultimately highly destructive to that society.

 (Information about a few attempts to change history --- )

So you want to deny what your ancestors did to create this society? Perhaps you think what has been created is all bad?

Then you’ll have to accept the results!

(You might not like this, but what really happened [not what you might want to think should have happened] created who you are. )

You want to deny the individual’s need for believing in something greater than yourself, such as a Creator (Jehovah, Christ or Allah)? Deny the teachings of Buddha or Confucius? The importance of ancestors and what they created for you?

Then you’ll have to accept the results!

 You insist on your right to do anything you want despite the damage it might cause to others? Insist that your “freedom” takes precedence over everything else?

Then you’ll have to accept the results!

 You want to deny the need for diversity? To insist that those of a different religion (or with any theology), those from a different country or different skin color are not your equals and entitled to the same consideration as you?

Then you’ll have to accept the results!

Stop blaming inanimate objects for depredations that are the result of the actions of people.

People just like you despite their obvious lack of education or mental difficulties.

As for legislators, there is very little they can do that will be effective except respond to the loudest noise from the “unwashed masses.” They don’t seem to be able to achieve a majority decision on what day it is.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

 The truth of convoy horror

                            Ottawa attacked and engorged by a leaderless MOB 

                        But does that refer to those in the trucks or in the big stone building?

Once again the Newfoundland born master of sarcasm composes a most humorous look at what no one could possibly avoid on national news. 
As an example:

"You know the story we’ve been hearing from the best and the brightest — former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who alone have stared the horror of Ottawa in the face ... "
    Welcome to the great Rex Murphy -----

I’ve been looking up the various insurrections, coups, revolts and revolutions that have jolted the world, unravelled monarchies and ripped countries apart over the course of history. How else ...

Friday, January 7, 2022

 Here is a rhyme I wrote some years ago and forgot about until I found it last night. It's an overview of my "Partners" novel which you can get my clicking on the cover off to the right and down or by visiting my author page at

Or failing that, send me a message and I can supply from the few copies I have in my stock.

A bit of a "misrepresentation" on the cover; that's a Henry .44 rimfire which does not appear anywhere in the story but then I didn't create the cover. There are several weapons in the story just not that one. A Henry does appear in some of my later stories.

“Partners” overview

By D.M. McGowan


He was an educated man, Thomas Brash by name

Raised for the British Army to follow his father’s fame

Born in Upper Canada, the eastern Loyalist land

Then sent across the sea, military school in England


He had served in several stations, Europe, Africa and such

But found the land of Hind demanded just too much.

He left the British Army returned to his Kingston home

Taught school, married and farmed and vowed no more to roam


But fate stepped in to change the future he had planned,

Cholera took the family; he burned the house, left the land.

He wandered to the west perhaps thinking life was done

More than thirty years of effort and everything was gone.


But out there on the plains he found someone he could help

Perhaps some master plan? He’d play the cards he was dealt.

Two wandering strangers as different as they could be

Can each survive the other’s thoughts and company?


Renegades, Blackfoot and psychopaths they face

The elements alone are hard on the human race

Indian wars and killers, all the across the west

Such is their future where simple living is a test.


From different places and different teachings

Perhaps these two are over reaching

But it takes bold people to build a land

And different ideas build one that stands

Monday, December 13, 2021

Video of "Knowing What Matters"

Knowing What Matters

I’ve put a collection of ten of my poems on a CD and should have them available in a week or so. The titles of those items on it are as follows;

Education, A real Man, Inclusion, The Road That Couldn’t Be Done, Hiking Mountain Ranges, Your Peace River Home, Native Sons in WWI (posted here a few weeks ago), Knowing What Matters, Just Feelin’ Good and An Old Rancher’s Christmas.

Here is “Knowing What Matters” along with a few pictures of Western Canada.

I’ve also been recording a collection of short stories for an audio book, but since it is about 50 thousand words and I’m also recording voiceover work, it might be awhile before I have that available.


Sunday, December 5, 2021

What I've Been Writing

 Research and Writing

I’ve been working on a story that has a “crime baron” operating in New Westminster, BC in 1881. I’ve found the research interesting, due to the great changes that were taking place at the time. However, more about that in a later post.

For now, I was just looking through some of the material I collected for “The Making of Jake McTavish” (or Jake) and “Gunfighters, Thieves and Lawmen” (GTL) and thought I would post some of those items.

The building of this Fort St. John jail and barracks by the NWMP is mentioned in “The Making of Jake McTavish”.

The top picture is how it appeared in 1927 and the bottom, how it appeared when I worked on the surrounding ranch in 1964.

In 1909 it was maned by the British Columbia Provincial Police (who actually had jurisdiction) and then abandoned in the late 1920s when the Hudson’s Bay Company moved about 2 miles north and up out of the Peace River Valley to what was called the “Fish Creek” area and is the present site of Fort St. John.

The "new" Hudson Bay Post at the "new" site of Fort St. John, 1928

GTL takes place west of Edmonton in the early 1890s and has to do with some of the unlikely people who, despite their lack of a proper background, eventually became the developers of Canadian Agriculture.

It also introduces an aboriginal policeman. According to a couple of sources I discovered the BC Provincial Police appointed “Special Constables” (a policeman’s responsibility but with little training and no pay) very early on in their history when they were still “Colonial” police (prior to 1872). They also had “Assistant Constables” who were paid but could be laid off at any time. As a result and despite the general low opinion of aboriginals throughout the European immigrant community, the BC Colonial Police and later the BC Provincial Police included the first aboriginal officers – even if they were usually “Special” constables and seldom “Assistant”. This policy was carried over into the RCMP (but not without some years of kicking and screaming) when they took over provincial policing from the BC Provincial Police in 1950 --- for no apparent reason that anyone can discover other than political-behind-closed-doors chicanery.

This is not to say that bigotry did not exist in BC for, as was/is the case anywhere in the world, it certainly did. That of the most visible nature was, of course, toward the aboriginals by the “whites” but also by the aboriginals toward the “whites” --- and the Chinese and the Blacks. And the Chinese toward other Asians, Europeans, blacks, natives, and all those toward all the others.


Damn right, as is bigotry of any … color.

Sorting furs in the 1890s

However, the first whites in the BC Interior were trappers who learned their trade from and/or worked with the natives. Following those immigrants where Hawaiians who landed near to the same time as the onrush of gold seekers. Since the gold-rushers where from all over the world they spent their first years in BC hating each other before they found time to work up some bigotry for the natives or Chinese. As a result of this history and the relatively few years it took for the population to explode, more crews were of mixed race and thus each was forced to learn more tolerance than in some other areas of the world.

This familiarity, along with very poor pay and a need to understand the workings of diverse societies resulted in the acceptance of a wide variety of races in the BC Police.

But back to the prairies on the other side of the mountains – to “Jake” and “GTL”.

The stories also touch on the development of coal mining and the structure of the North West Mounted Police, their barracks and district prison at Ft. Saskatchewan.

Much of “Jake” or perhaps the ‘heart of the story’ takes place in 1898 in the same area as “GTL”. However we also learn something of Jake’s early life as an Ontario farm boy, a Great Lakes deck-hand, a fresh water fisherman, a cattle ‘tender’, and a ‘wolfer’ attempting to help clear the Canadian Prairies of predators after the devastating blizzards (yes, plural; one after the other) winter of 1886. Following the rape and murder of his wife he also spends time trapping on the upper reaches of the Peace River system.

Peace Country Lake and Cariboo
The first sternwheeler on the Peace River was the St. Charles, launched in 1909.
This is the D.A. Thomas going upriver (probably to Hudson's Hope) about 1920 with Fort St. John Hudson's Bay Post on the opposite bank and just behind her drive-wheel.

 Within “GTL” there is mention of the development of agriculture machinery and at least one of the railroad “connector lines” to be found in the country.

Sawyer-Massey traction engine made in Hamilton, Ontario about1895
Case traction engine, 50 HP, from about 1915

Within “GTL” there is a look at some of the disruptions within the NWMP that could have led to its demise and the steps taken to avoid destruction. There is also mention of early development of telephone communication within the North West Territories.

Yes, I do enjoy writing these stories and winding facts through them, but I almost enjoy the research as much.

Enjoy --- or click on a book cover to the right and go to my author page.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Let's Not Do This Again!

 Remembrance Day

Canadians, Courseulles Beach 6-6-44

Once again it is the time of year when we are admonished to remember the past and to not repeat it.

In other words, “Don’t do something stupid!”

But apparently we aren’t paying attention, or not placing enough emphasis on Remembrance Day.

However, the ongoing denial of the scientific and technical developments of mankind, developments already proven by the experience of the developers, further testing and the obvious produce of that denial is subject for a future post.

Right now, it’s to try and remember the cost of war.

The cost of wishing for a specific goal but not considering all the costs of realizing that goal.

The cost of supporting a “stand-up guy”, “my type of person” or “a real strong-man” without studying that person right to the core.

The cost of believing such a person’s lies at face value.

Canadians on Juno Beach 6-6-44

 Here is a video I made to go along with my poem, “Native Sons in World War I” with which Karen helped to smooth out a couple of rough spots.

This has appeared here in years past as has “Deacon”, but never as a video

It has appeared in several publications and is part of the collection, or anthology “Deacon” --- which is a World War II story.

Includeds “Marker of Stone” ,“Deacon” and the rhymes, “Native Sons in WWI”, “Inclusion” and “Education”.

You can follow this link - 

but clicking on one of the book covers to the right will get you to the same place.

Native Sons in World War One

By D.M. McGowan and K.L. McGowan

© 2018


Seventeen native boys left the Upper Peace

The only land they’d known, all in their teens.

They’d all grown up wild out among the trees.

Knew where to find pelts, beaver ponds or streams.

They hunted for their supper, trap or single shot

And only their mothers gave safety a fleeting thought


After two hundred years of Scott and Fleur de Lis

They knew some other talk, sometimes two or three,

English, French and German were spoken in the land,

And whatever tongue was spoken by their particular band

Some of them could read and write more than just their name

But the army didn’t care, green privates all the same


An amazing great adventure for young trapper men

From freedom of the wild to a Canadian Army pen

Across the land in trains, something never seen.

Mistreated by a Sergeant, but still bright and keen.

Dropped off in camps and marched around a square

“Dig some dirt from here and put it over there.”


On the trains again east to Canada’s Maritimes

March down to the docks in perfect double lines

Then up a gangplank to a big steel canoe

Then told to put their kit where you couldn’t fit a shoe

A dozen ships in convoy from the Bedford shore

But count on German U boats sinking two or more.


More camp time in England, weeks without the sun

Then finally sent to France to show them how it’s done

Trenches that collapse from rains that never end

Bodies on the wire or sprawled out in no man’s land.

All caked in mud, “Are they ours? Are they theirs?”

Days and weeks of boredom, then terror and despair.



Vimy Ridge, the Somme or maybe Regina Trench

Maybe English on the left other times the French

High Wood or Kitchener’s, Avion as well

With the Aussies at Gallipoli, some lived to tell

Passchendaele, Arras, knowing each the end

If not for the war, surely for the men


M├ętis, Cree and Dane a total of Seventeen

On a great adventure, young, naive and keen

But the Great War wasn’t a great place to learn

For seventeen go but only two returned.