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Brad Smith

Brad Smith was born and raised in the hamlet of Canfield, in southern Ontario, a couple of hours from Toronto. As a child, he had a Huck Finn existence, building rafts and catching frogs and falling off his bike with regularity. (This was in the pre-helmet days — which might explain a lot.) He grew up on stories — both oral and written — reading the hockey books of Scott Young, and listening to the old-timers in the village. His next door neighbor was a WWI vet who had been a sergeant at Vimy Ridge in 1917. Smith attended elementary school in Cayuga, and high school — somewhat sporadically — in Dunnville.

After high school, he worked for the signal department of the Canadian National Railway for 3 years, and then got a chance to work on a rail project in South Africa. He helped install the signal system there under his uncle, W. R. Smith — a high school drop-out who became one of the three top railway signal engineers in the world. Upon returning from Africa Smith worked all over the place — Alberta, British Columbia, Texas — at a variety of jobs. Farmer, signalman, insulator, truck driver, bartender, schoolteacher (certain lies about his post-secondary education were told to acquire that job), maintenance mechanic, roofer, and so on. He became a carpenter and built custom homes in the Dunnville area. He still works as a carpenter when not writing. He now lives in a seventy-year-old farmhouse near the north shore of Lake Erie.

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