Anyone who knows Ed Hill and there are thousands of us, is wise to the fact that he loves great yarns, spinning them, hearing them ó and now, writing them.
In his first book, Busted, Hill is just that. Never one to shirk the truth, this new Gibsons author has laid bare some of his history that may raise an eyebrow or two around the peninsula.
A police officer for 34 years, Hill saw some sad and some hilarious events during the course of his career. A compulsive practical joker some of the funniest parts of the book deal with ďgotchasĒ. Scams he pulled on folks and ones where he was in the losing end of the pickle barrel. Never pompous heís quite able to laugh at himself.
One of the highlights of the book for me wasnít a practical joke, but a story about the naÔve young cop who ended up undercover in a bar where everyone was having a gay time in a manner he hadnít quite expected. Itís one of many examples in the book where you get the picture without being hit over the head.
Not all of the book is funny. Hill is brutally honest about his journey with alcohol. Heís one of the lucky ones ó able to kick his love of scotch for his love of family. I think he realizes many are not so fortunate and that is whatís speared his efforts for addiction rehabilitation over the years.
Although he doesnít write much in Busted about his Vision Quest Journey or Pulling Together trips they are a large part of the man and I hope his next book talks about their power to save lives.
Many of us know Hill through his art ó his prowess with a paintbrush is readily evident at the Gibsons Landing Gallery. In this book he relates the tale of how his style comes to be. It adds another layer to this fascinating man.
For many our experience with Hill is on the stage at a charity function trying his darnedest to separate us from our cash. Heís the only person Iíve ever heard of that could raise more than $1,000 for a $20-bill and have the buyer walk out with a huge smile on their face. He is indeed a multi-talented man.
Hillís love of family is also readily apparent in the book. He has two special stories in Busted about each of his kids. Lovely reads they speak volumes about his pride in them.
The book is a quick read. Itíll be a great foil to the busy-ness of the holiday season. Itís a book that anyone who is interested in policing from the Ď70s to early 21st century will find intriguing. And like me youíll find out new things about one of the Coastís best-known characters. So now to put you out of your misery Mr. Hill ó I loved the book, two service revolvers up!
To get your hands on a book plan to attend the launch, this Saturday, Dec. 7 at the arts store in Sunnycrest Mall from noon to 3 p.m. Or hereís a lovely alternative that will raise money for a hamper for a needy family ó Swish in Lower Gibsons is holding a reception and book signing for Busted this Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. admission is $20 includes a copy of the book and refreshments, net proceeds to the hamper. And on Dec. 14 at Gibsons Public Art Galley at 3 p.m. youíll have another chance to pick up the perfect Coast present.