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.
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