B.C. raconteur visits Langley

The man who documents B.C. and its people shares his own history in his new book about growing in New York City.

Mike McCardell will be Langley to sign copies of Cardboard Ocean this Friday.

McCardell was raised by a working mother in the borough of Queens where even the grade schoolers ran in gangs, fiercely protecting their turf from intrusion by the tykes a few blocks away.

The prized possession of “Mickey” McCardell’s kiddie gang was an ice cream factory disposal yard piled high with waste cardboard.

This was their “ocean” into which they would dive and “swim” in search of cast-off ice-cream sandwich wafers.

None of them had ever swum in real water or seen the real ocean although it was only a subway ride away.

He grew up in an era when Jackie Robinson was everyone’s hero and even sworn enemies joined forces to cheer the Brooklyn Dodgers in their futile battle with the hated Yankees. Full of stickball, street fights, truancy and trouble, Cardboard Ocean captures a way of life where fun and danger were real rather than digitized.

He’s at the Chapters Langley, #115  20015 Langley Bypass, from 1-3 p.m. on Dec. 5.

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