AMHERST, N.S. – It only took 90 minutes for 150 copies of Me and My Team: From Farmer to Premier, to sell out at Coles book store in Amherst on Dec. 15.
“The manager at Coles said they never had an event that was that successful,” said Morris Haugg, author of the book.
Haugg said Bacon, who is 92-years-old, didn’t want very many books printed because he saw it, primarily, as a record for his family, something the general public might not be interested in.
“I encouraged him to get more printed because I knew there were a lot of people out there who wanted to thank him and were interested in his career and wanted to show respect,” said Haugg.
“And the fact he was very popular at one time is not the whole truth; he is still very popular. I knew that, and it certainly showed at the book launch.”
The book is printed by Acadian Printing in Amherst, and Haugg says they will print another 100 to 200 copies of the book.
“I’ve been talking to some people in the last couple weeks and I got the impression that there was a lot of interest in the book, and the fact that the first printing sold out so fast proved me correct. We should have printed more in the first place.”
Haugg, a former lawyer, moved to Canada from Germany in 1960 at the age of 18.
“I met Roger within a week of arriving because I worked on a farm next to Rogers farm,” said Haugg.
It wasn’t Roger’s idea to write a book about his life.
“His son Doug, who has been a friend of mine since I came to this country, suggested I help his father write a book,” said Haugg. “And I was only too pleased to do so because Roger was always good to me, and so was his wife Clara.”
The 407-page book took one year to complete.
“We started at the beginning of December in 2017, and there were times in December, January and February when I was out to Rogers house two or three times a week, often for several hours, doing interviews and, later on, going through scrapbooks and other memorabilia,” said Haugg.
He started writing the book in June of 2018.
“And then I took the summer off because there were a lot of other things happening, and then picked it up again in September,” said Haugg.
Several people read the book before the book launch, and Haugg said the feedback was positive.
“One person sent me an email saying they couldn’t put it down, they read the whole thing, and another person left a message on my phone saying they found the book fantastic.”
The book covers Bacon’s life before, during, and after politics.
“I tried to describe, not only Rogers life, but the life of the era, living on a small farm in the 30s during the depression, making $25 or $30 a week and having no machinery,” said Haugg. “So, it’s not just a personal history. It’s a bit of a history of that time.”
As a young boy, one of Roger’s chores was to collect water.
“When he was eight-years-old, in the wintertime, he had to go to the spring, break the ice and bring bucket after bucket of water up to the farm for the animals as well as for the house,” said Haugg.
Haugg believes Bacon’s popularity derives from his authenticity as a person.
“Whether he was a farmer, a county councillor, a cabinet minister, or the premier, the man never changed in the way he saw himself or the way in which he treated others. That is why he is so popular.” said Haugg. “It wasn’t just the things he did, it was the nature of the man. He never did things for himself, he never looked for fame, he just did what he had to do, and luckily for the rest of us he was always a lot smarter than people gave him credit for.”