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