|Frank White started writing the story of his life as a pioneer BC truck driver in 1974 when he was only sixty. His boisterous yarn in Raincoast Chronicles about wrangling tiny trucks overloaded with huge logs down steep mountains with no brakes won the Canadian Media Club award for Best Magazine Feature and was reprinted so many times everyone urged him to write more. He started in his spare time but kept having so many new adventures he didn't finish until this year—his hundredth under heaven (which he doesn't believe in). Although Frank set out to tell the story of his life in transportation, starting in the horse and buggy age and chronicling the growth of trucking in the BC freighting and logging industries, Milk Spills and One-Log Loads is much more than that.
Just as absorbing as his accounts of obstreperous men wrestling big timber are his memories of becoming his family's designated driver at age twelve because his father couldn't break the habit of yanking up on the steering wheel and yelling "whoa you bastard, whoa"; of growing up in the BC bible belt where his grandfather kept the bible on a pulpit in the living room and never passed it without stopping to preach; of the same stiff-necked farmers who hitched rides to Vancouver so they could take in the sinful delights of skid row fleshpots; of collisions with streetcars and tsunamis of spilled milk; of roads clogged with dust-bowl jalopies; of the hysteria that gripped the BC coast after Pearl Harbor; of starting married life with a family of ten pigs; of a pet deer so dumb it would stand on a hot stove with its hooves smoking; of a toddler who mistook the deer's droppings for raisins; of the vanished (thankfully) sport of basking-shark hunting; and romantic interludes exploring idyllic islands and living off clams.
Milk Spills and One-Log Loads has all the hair-raising road tales one could ask for but, finally, it is a moving story of personal growth, a book that stands beside The Curve of Time and Fishing with John as a vivid account of life as working people lived it on Canada's west coast during the rough-and-tumble years of the early twentieth century. 256 pages, 80 b/w pictures, hardback in stock.