Colin Ruthven grew up in Vancouver’s lively West End in the years during and following World War II.
He shares stories that are humorously light and others that are stirringly dark, including what it was like growing up with a father who spent the war battling his own demons. His Aunt Helen, who served as a dietician in the Royal Canadian Army, would tell him how she nursed concentration camp survivors back to health after liberation.
The author deftly ties in stories highlighting his boyhood comradery with fellow “enders” with more serious moments from adolescence, leading up to his dramatic departure from Canada at age nineteen.
Ruthven, a dual citizen of Canada and the United States of America, would go on to spend several decades in America, serving as a Marine fighter pilot in the Vietnam War and retiring as a lieutenant colonel before enjoying a second career as an award-winning illustrator.