CAPLETTE, Jim




Jim Caplette was born on a Saskatchewan dairy farm in 1924. His great-grandfather Charlie Bremner was once imprisoned in a cell next to Louis Riel, on a trumped-up charge of treason for siding with the Indians during the rebellion. The tables were turned when Jim's great-grandfather in turn sued the Canadian government and that old thief General Middleton for stealing four of his Red River carts fully loaded with furs. The case, which was resolved fifteen years later, led to Middleton's resigning in disgrace.

Halfway through grade ten, at age 16, Jim Caplette jumped on a bicycle and headed for Vancouver. After working at Burrard Shipyards and serving in the army, he took a course in auto mechanics and worked at several large auto dealerships. For the past twenty years he has run his own small trucking business in North Vancouver. In 1990, he sort of retired. That is, he now works twice as hard as ever, and spends a lot of time helping his friend AI Brown work on a fishing boat to be donated to the poverty-stricken fishermen in Nicaragua. His hobbies include working with red or yellow cedar, and with driftwood, which he transforms into strange and wonderful objets d'art. And he sings and plays trumpet, guitar and tub base every week or two in hotels and pubs with his buddy Gary Comeau, a professional musician. His other passions are writing, politics and bullshitting, not necessarily in that order. Philosophically speaking, he only ever gives two pieces of advice: "Don't walk on green logs, and don't step on the ants."

In Haywire (1993), his collection of stories, he humourously traces his life from the Depression when he invented the perfect gopher-hunting slingshot through the time not long ago when he delivered an eight-ton rock to his front yard as a gift for his wife. He lives in North Vancouver.

His other book is called Older than Dirt (CG Publications, 2000) ISBN 0-9687236-0-8.

[BCBW 1995 / Harbour Publishing, 2002]