Anyone who has spent time in the Silver City, be it five years or 50 years, has a story to tell about Trail.
And that was the genesis behind John D’Arcangelo’s idea to gather as many stories as possible about Trail in a new book A Trail to Remember.
D’Arcangelo, a longtime local teacher and avid supporter of the Home of Champions, took on the challenge of compiling stories from a host of people who have made Trail a part of their life.
“We did what we set out to do,” said D’Arcangelo. “That was to capture the essence of life in Trail at one time.”
He recalled getting a video camera from his dad in the ‘80s.
“He suggested I interview Mike Bukna and Jimmy Morris and that got me going on it.”
Then add numerous chat sessions at coffee shops and hockey games and D’Arcangelo realized “we need to save these stories.”
Getting the stories wasn’t hard. The toughest task was narrowing down the stories. The book was expected to be 250 pages but grew to 350 pages.
D’Arcangelo admitted that about 50 stories didn’t make the final cut due to a variety of criteria. A group of three – D’Arcangelo, Jamie Forbes and Sarah Benson – sifted through the stories to come up with the final draft.
The stories touch on all facets of life in Trail – from growing up in the Gulch, working at the smelter, floating down the river or simply walking to school.
Of course no book of Trail memories would be complete without several anecdotes related to the city’s sporting history and success.
But what makes the book unique is the personal insights to many iconic parts of Trail be it crafting a mask for Trail Smoke Eater goaltender Seth Martin, being part of basketball success at J.L. Crowe Secondary or traveling with a baseball team to California.
There are memories from people synonymous with Trail like Gabana, Vanelli, Nutini, Gattafoni, Benson and Bilesky.
And of course there are memories from illustrious Trail athletes like Gerry Moro, Lauren Bay-Regula, Jocelyn DeRosa, Theresa Lenardon and the thoughts of a host of famous Trail Smoke Eaters.
The stories aren’t limited to Trail, there are memories of skiing at Red Mountain or fun days in Warfield.
“It was a great community project,” said D’Arcangelo. “It really took people back to happier times.”
A Trail to Remember will be available to the public a the official book launch on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the Piazza Colombo.
Copies may be purchased at the book launch, through Trail City Archives, at the Trail Historical Society website or local retailers while supplies last.