July 17, 2023 — A few months shy of the 10th anniversary of the publication of Carl Dow’s first book (the eclectic collection of short fiction, The Old Man’s Last Sauna) came another anniversary: Carl’s 90th birthday, which we celebrated in quiet style at his home on the northern edge of Ottawa’s Centretown this past Saturday.
In attendance were Randy Ray, his longtime friend and sometime publicist, Randy’s partner Judy Kwasnica, Carl’s oldest friend (who he has been trying to catch for about 70 years, but who somehow remains four months older) Nick Aplin, his friend Faduma (who asked not to be pictured nor last-named), and of course, my darling wife (who also chooses to keep her face and name off the internet), and my daughter, “Baobao”, whose face I have decided to keep private, now that she is nearly four.
As I said, it was a small celebration of Carl’s first 90 years, but a joyful one.
Though largely confined to the wheelchair you can see in some of the accompanying photos, Carl (who is, yes, my father; the shared last name is no coincidence. His writer’s home at The BumblePuppy Press, on the other hand, has nothing to do with nepotism and everything to do with the fact that, when I read his first novel, Black Grass, in manuscript, I started it in the evening and finished it as the sun was rising the next morning. I founded the company because I really wanted that book to see print) promises to deliver his next novel, Wildflowers: The Women Who Made McCord Chronicle to his publisher, well, any day now.
After that, he says he has a sequel to Black Grass percolating — one that will feature Louis Riel himself, along with the protagonist of Black Grass, Gabriel Dumont. He says he might start work on his memoirs once those two novels are in the proverbial can, but I suspect more fiction will get in the way of that.
While I wait for the new book (and to really bury the lede), to celebrate Carl’s birthday, we are offering both of his existing books — Black Grass and The Old Man’s Last Sauna for a combined price of only $25.00. Click here to buy them now!
Please offer your congratulations to my dad in the best way possible — buy his books! If you need evidence before laying down your hard-earned money, click here to read an excerpt from Black Grass, and here to read the powerful novelette, “O! Ernie … What Have They Done To You?” in its entirety.