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OHASSTA Nov 2014 final

Journal of the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers' Association You see how a good story raises all kinds of questions. For instance is the story true? Finding truth is no easy task but it can be an adventure. With regard to Ned and the Scourge, the story was written 30 years later in 1843. Did Ned's thirst for action alter his memory? Can his story be corroborated? As it turns out there are three short records written in 1813 supporting Ned's recollections. One of these notations led Dan to pinpoint where the wrecks would eventually be found. There are two tasks faced by historians. Getting the facts and then weaving them into a best guess as to what happened in history. A Buffalo newspaper rendering of the sinking confirms the story told by Ned Myers. Getting the facts and using the facts. Not easy to do. Good stories capture attention and that must be done in the first minute of a class or a lecture. Just like a good novel's first sentence. I learned this lesson from Doug Koupar, a CBC radio producer. I was asked to give mini- lessons on Radio Noon some years ago. After my first three, Doug took me aside and said "Alan, those are good stories..." What is the next word when someone in authority uses flattery? Yep, the next word is "But". "Alan, those are good stories, but the radio audience has only a one-minute attention span." That was good advice. Put the Big Idea right up front. The Scourge is lying in a dark watery grave not far from Toronto, along with 42 of her crew. But Ned Myers survived and wrote about the tragedy... In His Own Words: Ned Myers remembers the sinking of the Scourge The flashes of lightning were incessant, and nearly blinded me. Our decks seemed on fire, and yet I could see nothing. I heard no hail, no order, no call; but the schooner was filled with the shrieks and cries of the men to leeward, who were lying jammed under the guns, shot-boxes, shot and other heavy things that had gone down as he vessel fell over. The starboard second gun, from forward, had capsized, and come down directly over the hatch, and I caught a glimpse of a man struggling to get past it. Apprehension of this gun had induced me to drag myself forward of the mast where I received the blow mentioned, . The water was pouring down the cabin companion-way like a sluice, and as I stood for an instant on the fashion-piece, I saw Mr. Osgood, with his head and part of his shoulders through one of the cabin windows, struggling to get out. RAPPORT FALL 2014 19 RAPPORT FALL 201419