Rick Price has always been drawn to stories.
"The first thing you have to know about me is I seem to have a natural inclination to collect and tell stories," he says. "It's just part of my nature. This is definitely recognized by my family and friends."
His daughter, in particular, highlighted this around five years ago and offered a suggestion: "You have so many stories. You should write them down," Price recalls her saying.
And that's how, one story at a time, Price — a long-time Squamish resident and school board chair for the Sea to Sky school district — put together Rickollections….A Memoir of family, friends, and wild places.
The book is a mix of short stories, essays, and anecdotes that tell tales from Price's life, but also delve into outdoor adventures and, indirectly, the history of Squamish.
"I like to be amused and I like to laugh, so it's a pretty solid theme," he says. "One of my goals was to record some family history — my own, but also my parents and grandparents. That's the sort of thing people my age start thinking about wanting to pass on to their children and grandchildren."
But within those stories are themes that appeal to a wider audience too.
For one, he has a few wildly varying adventure stories packed in from long-distance cycling trips to mountain exploration and sailing.
"Since I was a boy, I have enjoyed the wilderness," he says. "I became a bit of a mountaineer and rock climber. I say 'a bit of' because I was never anywhere near the top echelon. It was a hobby — mountain exploration as opposed to climbing — travelling through mountain wilderness became a theme in my life and I've written about that."
Born in Edmonton, Price and his family moved to West Vancouver when he was 10. He went to the University of British Columbia and, in 1971, after getting married, moved to Squamish and worked as a teacher and principal.
"I've written about that in the book," he says. "One section is 'Squamish 1971.' I wanted people to have a sense of what the town was like when I moved here. It was a very, very different place. The road connecting Squamish to Vancouver had only been in existence for 12 or 13 years when we moved here."
Price also delves even further back in his book to his parents' experiences during the Second World War. In a way, revisiting their struggles while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has been helpful.
"I've been thinking about what they went through and what we're going through right now," he says. "There's no comparison at all. I'm sitting back safe and sound and well fed in my leather recliner … and my mother had a baby and had to leave her town because of the bombs. This too will pass."
However, not knowing when that might be, Price opted to forgo his book launch party — a celebration he had envisioned at the Brackendale Art Gallery — in favour of getting the book out into the world.
"Someone said, 'People are looking for things to do and read. Your book is amusing and entertaining,'" he says.
To that end, the book is available by calling or texting Price at 604-815-3941. You can also email email@example.com. It's also for sale in Squamish at Valhalla Pure. From the sale of each book, $5 goes to charities, including the Squamish Food Bank and the Howe Sound Women's Centre.
*Find more stories from Pique here.