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Preface by Anne Cameron

We are all profoundly influenced and shaped by our geography, and nowhere is this more evident than in British Columbia. Even those souls so unfortunate as to have not been born here, are who they are because of where they lived, and, should they move to the coast, and should they be able to pass the severe tests the coast imposes on those who would seek sanctuary here, they begin to change, to adapt themselves to the climate, to adapt their political outlooks and reactions, to become less and less what they once were, more and more what the coast has insisted we will be.

There are some who say the entire North American continent is formed on a decided tilt, resulting in all the nuts rolling to the west. We have never denied this, It is possibly why we had the foresight to erect the Rocky Mountains; the nuts hit the barrier and ricochet, like pool balls, back to source. And only the stout of heart and stalwart continue on to Eden.

And yet Eden, which influences and shapes her accepted children, is, herself, influenced and altered by their very presence. A town is not streets and sidewalks, buildings and roads, sewer systems and industry; a town is made by the people who live in it, people who are formed by the power of their geography, people who adapt to or alter their surroundings, are adapted or altered by them. What can ever be said of a town without focusing on the people who live in it? Without people, towns sit abandoned, are taken over by mice and bats, are destroyed by weather and die of broken hearts. Deprived of people, towns vanish; denied of a town, people on the coast will build one. Then, if they decide they don't like where the town sits ... they will gallantly move it several miles in any direction, to a site more pleasing. After all, "take away the people and what have you got but some rocks, trees, beaches, and the ocean."