RUSKIN, Olga




Author Tags: Alcohol

A statue of Gassy Jack Deighton in Gastown memorializes the would-be prospector and publican's place in Vancouver's history, immortalized in the name for the renovated Skid Row area of Gastown and in a 48-page biographical sketch. "We learn more about Jack's character from his photo than we do from his correspondence, which falls well short of Voltaire's," wrote Eric Nicol, reviewing Olga Ruskin's co-written Gastown's Gassy Jack (1971) in BC Studies (Summer, 1972). "His grave in New Westminster is unmarked, we are told, and we know only too well why: we have not learned to care about John Deighton. He is a distant ancestor who died less than a century ago. Plainly what our burly, black-bearded anti-hero needs is not so much a history as a legend. Nothing less can save him... Jack's fate now lies with the Muse.".

Co-author of:

Gastown's Gassy Jack (Vancouver: Gordon Soules Economic Research, 1971) with Raymond Hull. 48 p.

[BCBW 2005]