Word On The Street Big Ideas Stage Featuring Thom Ernst - Dundurn

Word On The Street Big Ideas Stage Featuring Thom Ernst

Word On The Street is back! Join Thom Ernst at the BIg Ideas Stage for the Human Growth and Resilience Panel, joined by Kathleen McDonnell and Rona Maynard. 

The Wild Boy of Waubamik by Thom Ernst 

Film critic, writer, and broadcaster Thom Ernst chronicles his life growing up with an abusive father in rural Ontario.

The residents of Waubamik know about the Wild Boy, a somewhat feral child, standing nearly naked in a rusty playground of weeds and discarded metal, clutching a headless doll. They know the boy has been plucked from poverty and resettled into a middle-class family. But they don’t know that something worse awaits him there.

This is the story of a system that failed, a community that looked the other way, and a family that kept silent. It is also a record of the popular culture of the 1960s — a powerful set of myths that kept a boy comforted. But ultimately, The Wild Boy of Waubamik is a story of triumph, of a man who grew up to become a film critic and broadcaster despite his abusive childhood. It reminds us that life, even at its darkest, can surprise us with moments of joy and hope and dreams for the future.