A pair of local ladies recently launched a book containing a story largely based on their father’s memoir, about his time befriending a First Nations woman who lived alone in the wilds of Wells Gray Park.
The book, called the Legend of Misty Water, was put together by Nancy and Eleanor Shook and has never been shared publicly until its release at the Clearwater Library last Saturday.
“This is a little story that dad wrote and I think it’s the last story he wrote,” Eleanor said.
“He wrote a lot of stories in the last 10 years of his life about old-timers, mostly Upper Clearwater stories, but this one grabbed my attention for sure—it’s a fantastical story.”
The story is about a First Nations woman named K’hok’ohine, or Misty Water as her aunt called her, who spent 32 years of her life alone in Wells Gray Park.
According to the story, Misty Water only knew three people in her life, which included her mother, her aunt, and the Shooks’ father, Charlie.
“She lived out there absolutely on her own, traditionally, and totally capable—she made her own clothing and caught her animals,” said Eleanor.
“It’s just unbelievable that somebody could actually do that and dad, when he was a young man before he was married and had a family, met her out there when he bumped into her out of the blue and they became friends.”
Charlie checked on her every year afterward, bringing her supplies of salt, sugar, tobacco and tea, which were the only items Misty wanted from the modern world.
Though the Shooks didn’t want to reveal the whole story at the book launch, Eleanor read from the first chapter of the book to the delight of those in attendance, before fielding questions from interested attendees.
Those who want to read the entire story of Charlie Shook and Misty Water can pick up a copy at Bigfoot Trading, Buy-Low Foods and copies will also be available soon at the Clearwater Info Centre.