You wouldn't necessarily expect a small city like Sault Ste. Marie to produce many authors, and you might not expect a story about the city itself to be particularly engaging, either. But you would be wrong on both counts. Not only has it produced several authors, but one in particular, Morley Torgov, wrote a very entertaining book about the Soo.
Born in 1927, Mr. Torgov grew up in Sault Ste. Marie as part of its small Jewish community. Jewish culture is in fact a large part of his writing, which includes the book most relevant to us, A Fine Place to Come From. As the title implies, it talks about his time growing up here as a young Jewish boy, through a series of short stories.
There is a good deal of variety within, ranging from a failed attempt at getting away with eating bacon (an un-kosher food for them), accidentally getting his housekeeper into trouble with her family, and watching his father work in his personal second-hand clothing store. Even if he is part of a different culture, it all feels oddly relatable regardless. Some of it is even historical, as Mr. Torgov was a witness to the fierce debate surrounding the construction of the Sault's first Synagogue (now known as the Beth Jacob Synagogue), from everything from the location to the construction to even the original name.
For his writing, Mr. Torgov has received some accolades from his country and his hometown. A Good Place to Come From and a later book, The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick, both won him a Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, a Canadian award that has been around for 76 years. He was also inducted into the Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame in 2006 for his contributions to Canadian literature.
This is all fairly impressive when you consider that writing is something Mr. Torgov did as a hobby, with his profession proper being a lawyer. These days he has retired from both, but is still around at the impressive age of ninety-five. So tip a hat to him for producing at least one noteworthy book we are mentioned in, and maybe read the book yourself. It's well worth the time.