A-E enjoys too infrequent communications with two college classmates who are similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A quick guide for readers: They would be Classmates Richard and Pat, respectively.

Richard wrote this pleasant description of Scottish Games he and his wife Phyllis enjoyed:

“I spent my first six years in Cheektowaga and then moved to Clyde which has the River Clyde running through it and the main street in town is Glasgow. (For those unfamiliar with the geography of Scotland, Clyde and Glasgow are as famous in Scotland as Nessie, the Loch Ness monster).

“Phyllis and I enjoyed the Scottish festival in Syracuse. We spent most of our time watching the games, especially tossing the caber (the wooden telephone pole that Scots throw for fun). Caber categories include old men, open for everyone, and woman. Everyone throwing at once was like a three-ring circus full of people with burrs (the almost unintelligible Scottish accent). I had never seen woman competing before.

“They knocked off for an hour at noon and we went to eat. Phyl had fish and chips and I had haggis and mashed potatoes. The haggis was great.”

Classmate Pat aka Mr. Hyde rebutted thus: “Dick, I am afraid A-E is unduly influencing you with this Scots and Canadian stuff. (Pat admitted he was thinking an earthier noun but recognized A-E’s is a family column) You are German and should be proud of it. However I would like to go to some Scottish game event some time,” he admitted with obvious reluctance.

Richard, who is a retired senior research chemist for a Fortune 500 company, responded with typically Jekyllian grace about Canada, native heath of A-E‘s ancestors: “Almost 10,000 participants in a survey intended to determine how Canada talks revealed a staggering array of regional linguistic distinctions and we’re not just talking about the whole ‘occasional French’ thing. (The survey only covered English speakers.) For instance, the East calls them sneakers, the West calls them runners, but Ontario and Quebec call them running shoes. Pens, I was surprised to learn, are called ‘coloured pencils’ in Nova Scotia and Quebec. Apparently the drawing implements are referred to as ‘pencil crayons’ in most of the rest of Canada.”

The unfamiliar spelling of coloured is the British convention that includes rumour, candour and labour. Petrol and lorries are another difference.

More “more than you want to know” aboot (cq) Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, the province A-E’s ancestors have called home since they fled there during the American Revolution, is the extreme southeastern corner of Canada. The southern and eastern parts of the province lie on a peninsula facing the Atlantic to the east and the Bay of Fundy to the west. To the north, the peninsula is joined to the rest of Canada by an isthmus that separates the Bay of Fundy on the south from Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the north.

Take a ferry ride from Cape Breton Island, the eastern chunk of land in the province, and within a few hours you’ll arrive in Newfoundland, where the accent is almost as challenging as in Glasgow. Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are known as the Maritimes, Canadian for “really cold and windy during the American winter.”

For its size Nova Scotia has an extraordinarily long coastline and roughly 170 lighthouses. Rip Irwin's book, Lighthouses and Lights of Nova Scotia, (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2011) is an essential reference for understanding these lighthouses. Several pages list lighthouses at the southern end of the peninsula in the counties of Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne, and Yarmouth. Roughly speaking, this covers the coast from St. Margaret's Bay around Cape Sable to Yarmouth Harbour.

A-E’s precise native heath is Shelburne Town in Shelburne County.

When the author isn’t shilling for a cold corner of Canada, he’s the Evening Tribune education reporter.