Sam McGee on Etch-a-Sketch

I get a lot of really cool emails in my Inbox at ExploreNorth – here’s one I have to share with you.

Ted Widen is a teacher in BC with a unique talent. While he had his Grade 10 students memorizing The Cremation of Sam McGee recently, he decided to add to his collection of Etch-A-Sketch drawings by doing a scene from the poem. “Etch-a-Sketch drawings?”, you ask. Ted says that he “… was born and raised in the Bulkley Valley. He grew up on a farm where there was no Etch training, went to Telkwa Elementary School where there was no Etch teacher, and graduated from Smithers Secondary where there was no Etch program. This poor child was in his 30’s before attempting to actually draw a picture on an Etch-A-Sketch. “There was always an Etch-A-Sketch in the toy box at home. Like most people, I drew boxes and stairs. I just never stopped. My pictures require 6 to 10 hours to complete… no eraser, all one line.””

The reason he contacted me is that he’d like to sell his drawing now (he’s drilled a hole in the back and removed the powder from inside to make the picture permanent). “The Sam McGee drawing is probably 9-ish hours of intricate work, not unlike many other forms of art. If I post it on ebay I will place a reserve bid of $500 on it. However, if there is to be a respectable site for my drawing to be on display in a Yukon location, I am willing to negotiate.”

I think it would be a great attraction at the Visitor Reception Centre in Whitehorse. Any takers? Ted can be contacted at

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