Thank you to Vernon Bailey and Charlie Smith for their wonderfuly contribution of this stirring ode to, of all things, barns!
Vernon Bailey grew up on a small dairy farm on the north channel of Lake Huron near the town of Thessalon. He farmed the family homestead until 2005 as a beef farm and at that time his sons took over the farm. Like most farmers he had another vocation to support his “farming habit”. For Vernon that was auctioneering, a job which he is still doing presently. He is the father of 3 children and proud grampa Vern to 5. He currently lives in Sault Ste. Marie with his wife Tracey.
He has conducted hundreds of auctions for various charities over the past 35 years and has raised over 3 million dollars through that medium. For such organizations as Ducks Unlimited, Heart & Stroke, Zonta, United Way and Local Hospitals just to name a few.
In recent years he has turned his love for poetry and community theatre into another fund raising event for local charities. Vernon and a Sault Ste. Marie musician comprised a two act show featuring the poetry of Robert Service entitled “Call of the Wild”. They then collaborated on a second show called “Life on the Farm”. It is from the later show that “The Barn” was performed.
Charlie Smith, affectionately known as “The Bard of The North Shore” is a
poet and farmer who practises both of these passions along the Birch Lake
Road, near Massey, Ontario. Besides his widely acclaimed poetry, he has
fulfilled his dream of becoming “a father, a farmer and a good rifle shot”.
“Here is an authentic voice of the northland – passionate, but not sentimental; wary but not cynical; highly observant; in a word, genuine. … There is a rhythm that seems tangibly to roll through Charlie Smith’s life – through the bond with his wife and children, and with his neighbours, and with his dogs and livestock, and with the wildlife he hunts. It is a rhythm that binds him to the land he shapes as a farmer, and makes him part of the ever-changing, ever recurring seasons that shape him. And it’s a rhythm that works itself out onto paper as well.” Laurence Steven, High Grader Magazine.
“Charlie Smith has proven himself to be one of Canada’s most original and
provocative poetic voices.” Charlie Angus , MP, House of Commons.