Part 233: Dr Stompin’ Tom Road

RECORD STORE TALES Part 233:  Dr Stompin’ Tom Road

One of the biggest thrills during the record store days was the last vacation I ever took from that place!  I’ve always wanted to go to Eastern Canada, and see the ocean.  I have always been drawn to the sea.  I think this is because of my Italian side, it must be in my blood and DNA.  We came to Canada in 1904 from Porto Empedocle, Sicily.  It is a fishing village on the coast, and my great-grandfather Luigi owned a shop there around the turn of the century.  My great-great grandfather Salvatore was from Amalfi, near Naples.  If you ever see pictures of Amalfi, you might understand why I have always loved the sight of water.

In May 2002, I finally visited the beautiful province of Prince Edward Island.  I got to see the ocean, the harbors and the lobster boats.  We checked out a lot of cool sideroad shops, walked a lot of trails, and played with the vibrant red sand.  We met some of the friendliest people we’d ever encountered.  But there was no way I was leaving Prince Edward Island without doing three important things:

1. Eating lobster in some form every single day.

2. Visiting the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, one of only two in Canada.

3. Setting foot in Skinners Pond, home of Dr Stompin’ Tom Road.

Obviously, I had to pay my respects to the boyhood home of one of the greatest Canadians (# 13) and folk musicians of all time, Stompin’ Tom Connors.  In the end, I accomplished all three of my goals.  Of the five days I spent on the island, I had lobster on every one of them, even having the bizarre McLobster on one of those days.  As an added bonus, I found an interesting piece of guitar-shaped folk art, made by a fellow named Keirras Jeffery, that I had to buy.  It looks awesome on the wall.

Photos of Stompin’ Tom’s eponymous road are difficult to find online, so I proudly present to you a selection of my holiday snaps, May 2002.

Here’s another great site with info on Stompin’ Tom’s home in PEI:  PEI Heritage Buildings – Skinners Pond and Stompin’ Tom Connors

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19 comments

      1. I can tell you McLobster is regional to eastern Canada, Maine, and some other Atlantic states. However we JUST got it in town as a limited time deal this summer, and I had it three more times this year.

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  1. Love the guitar! I’ve never been to Canada, but a good friend went to Prince Edward Island a few years ago and was totally impressed. Maybe someday I will get to travel out of the States. I’d planned to go to Vienna in 2000 (I’m a Beethoven freak), but decided to return to college, so there went my money…

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    1. Yeah that will tend to eat into the travel fund.

      Canada’s great for US travelers since we’re so close, speak the same language, etc. I haven’t been to too many states, just five: Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. And the last four of those was on this PEI trip, as we chose to travel through the US on the trip out to the island.

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  2. Cool story. Nice to go see the places that mattered to the people that mattered to us. ;)

    I’d love to see PEI. Closest I got was Halifax, on our honeymoon ten years ago. And we didn’t do much traveling around because a hurricane hit right after we landed.

    I always try to see big water, when I can. We saw the Atlantic from Halifax and from Scotland (did not swim either time), as well as the North Sea from St. Andrews (I went out to my knees, it was f@*king cold). And we got to see the Pacific from Mexico (I swam every day). There’s something comforting about being near big water, but also an awareness that it could mess you up in an instant. Still, when I meet people from down east, and they bemoan the fact that they wish they were back home, I totally get it.

    Next road trip, dude. Heck with Taranna. Let’s go to a coast, either one. I’ve never been to B.C. Let’s go there!

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    1. As long as they have good record stores in BC :)

      I’d go out east again, my only failure is that we didn’t find any good record stores in Charlottetown.

      Actually Charlottetown wasn’t even on our original order of battle. My car has an issue that needed to be serviced, so we went to Charlottetown where they had the part I needed, and it ended up being one of the nicest days we had!

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  3. It’s hard to find a good record store anymore. We have one where I live, but I can never find the old records I want there. Either he hasn’t been able to pick one up cheap at a yard sale or just hasn’t found them at all. He doesn’t pay much for anything brought in. Collectors tend to hang on to their favorites, anyway. I did manage to find an old James Gang record I wanted there. There’s also a vintage record store in Iowa City that has a lot of interesting things. Unfortunately, if they have what I want, the price is usually too steep, so I don’t get it. Then, when I do decide I need it after all, it’s gone. That’ll teach me a lesson for next time…

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    1. For those without access to good record stores, I heartily endorse Discogs. It’s a marketplace-like site, but music specific and I have filled plenty of gaps in my collection via Discogs. Affordably, too. Just a thought.

      None of that replaces the feeling of going into a store and flipping though. That’s just a fun way to spend an afternoon.

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      1. Thanks for the tip, Mike. I will check that out. I can usually find the CD’s I want through Amazon or ebay, but there are a few things that are still hard to find. The local place does do a good job of carrying recordings of area bands and artists, though, so it’s not all bad. He supports the locals!

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