Artist Molly Lamb Bobak honoured in daughter's new book
Last Dance in Shediac is a touching memoir of the final years of Bruno and Molly Lamb Bobak's life
Last Dance in Shediac, Memories of Mum is a touching memoir about her parents, particularly her mother, who died at the age of 92 in 2014.
Molly Lamb met Bruno Bobak when they were both war artists documenting the Second World War.
They became celebrated Canadian artists, whose works hang in the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. They lived for a time on the West Coast, then settled in Fredericton where they remained until their deaths.
The title of the book refers to one of the last mother-daughter road trips Scoones took with her mother, not long before her death.
Speaking from her home near Victoria, Scoones recalled the fun of hitting the open road with her mum.
"When she began to get frail and older and couldn't come and visit me out West, I would go back to Fredericton," said Scoones. "We would go on little road trips all over New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It was a wonderful thing to do in the last few years of mum's life."
One of their adventures took them to Shediac on a cold, wet November day. They stopped for the night at an inn, and when they went down for dinner, there was no one else in the dining room except for a man sitting in a corner, wearing a green shirt.
"And they were playing this canned music, the song Moon River, that Mum used to go around the house humming when she was cleaning … this man came over and asked her to dance."
The rest of the story reads like a scene from a movie. The elderly Lamb Bobak was whirled around the room by the stranger in the green shirt.
"She loved it," says Scoones. "And then he sat her back down and we ate and he went back to his corner.
"And then we were lying in our beds at night, reminiscing of our wonderful day, and Mum said, 'Anny, if you ever write another book, call it Last Dance in Shediac.' So I did."
Scoones has written several books and often tells stories about growing up in Fredericton with her famous parents.
"Mum and Dad were part of a bigger world than their family," says Scoones in Last Dance.
"For their art to be honest and free and worthwhile, they had to be open to more than just being paternal and maternal. Children of artists and creative thinkers must accept this."