When you first heard the name Ragnar Johnson while researching the fur trade at the beginning of the 20th century your interests were instantly peaked. A master trapper, Johnson set records in Canada’s frozen north, but the history books don’t say much else about him. So, when a tip turns you on to an elderly woman who claims to have known him, and when she informs you that Ragnar saved her life, your curiosity compels you to meet up with her and hear her story…
Overview: The Legend of Ragnar Johnson invites you to discover and experience who Ragnar was through eleven-year-old Elsie Schroeder, the young girl Ragnar saved from a blizzard and returned to her father during a break in the storm, a reporter who interviews an elderly Elsie Schroeder in her twilight years, and the legend, Ragnar Johnson, himself.
Excerpts: For months, we slowly migrated north. You could make plenty of money with the fur trade if you were a good trapper, and my father was one of the best. The Great Depression seemed like it was a million miles away. That year, trapping was such a fruitful occupation that a story had spread about a man who had traded in an entire seasons worth of furs by making a total of five trips to each of his trap lines. Months and months of patience and hard work had been accomplished in just a few days. It was a different kind of gold rush. Those willing to brave the harsh climate of the Arctic circle could yield richer, thicker pelts while trapping during the winter. And so, we set our course for the most northern tip of Manitoba. Settlements, so far, few and in between, were either small Chipewyan communities or trapper’s camps. The vast, virgin wilderness spread endlessly in all directions. And it was a glorious sight.
About the author: Morgan I.P. Fics is a writer, filmmaker and educator living in Toronto, Canada. Morgan has taught screenwriting and filmmaking at the post-secondary level, in private workshops, has worked as a story editor and has featured several of his films in festivals across the globe.
Cover art: Amanda Fics