from the archives
The Legend of Stamp’s Landing, with bonus legend decoder
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The Legend of Stamp’s Landing
Stamp’s Landing was named by Captain Edward Stamp in honor[sic] of his great-grandfather who, in 1794, under the command of Lord Howe, fought in the battle of “the Glorious 1st of June” [they fought grouse from British warships off Spanish Banks? Vancouver’s history is even more colourful than I’d imagined. What kind of ordinance did the grouse use against the Brits, I wonder].
Sir William Henry Stamp, Bart [which isn’t a Simpson’s reference: it means “Baronet”] the commander of HMS Formidable [a word I can spell only by remembering the French, which sounds way cooler anyway, even just in your head] 74 guns, did engage in that battle and sustained a heavy blow to the head [ the Bart, not the Formidable]. Delirious, he jettisoned a small landing craft, boarded it and drifted into a fog bank and disappeared.
He drifted for several days at last hitting a rock shore in a small inlet now known as False Creek. He was greeted there by several friendly natives who cared for him, sustained him with food and drink, and showed him a good time. [he musta been a big spender]
After a year, he reluctantly bid farewell to that friendly place [besides, the girls were starting to “show” by now]. The natives took him into open water at what is now known as Point Atkinson. There he was picked up by a packing frigate that was patroling the area. Stamp related the story of his landing in that friendly place with beautiful women, good food and drink and warm companionship. All aboard were fascinated by the stories and the good fortune of Stamp’s Landing.
Throughout the years the name “Stamp’s Landing” has lived in legends of good fortune and navel [sic again, unless this is another sly pregnancy reference] luck. When adrift at sea, sailors would propose a toast with whatever rations they had left, “Here’s to another Stamp’s Landing!“
and now for the Secret Legend Decoder, which I got from inside mine own head.
Secret Legend Decoder
So this dude, no doubt sent abroad for sheer uselessness, as were so many young men of the times (there’s always a surplus of useless young men; at least, there was back then, before the days of motorcycles and fatal vending machine accidents) got the shit scared out of him when he was bopped on the head with something in battle with the fearsome grouse of the Lower Mainland, and besides, he was in the wrong ocean entirely anyway. So when an opportune fog bank rolled in, he got into a wee boat, hoping to sneak away from the action unmissed.
He succeeded, landed, managed to make some friends among some unwarlike people, and spent many months making a parasitic nuisance of himself. Finally, when they’d had enough of this pasty-faced layabout, they stuck him on a boat out in the middle of traffic, where sure enough some lemolo kingchauch sailed by and went: oh look! Anudder whiteboy! Let’s fish him up! Whereupon this dude lied the pants off himself and thus became legendary.
So much easier to do when you’re the one writing the legend, eh?