The Bartlett School continues – Part 6 of 6 – 2/4/2019

parkbenchleaf

The storm let up as fast as it began. “Thanks George,” Carl muttered. “Carl!”, George offered kindly, “It never rains but it pours. Now the sun’s out doing it’s best to shine!” Oh God, he thought, that’s pushing it. I must be losing my edge. “So, Jan? How’re you making out?” He’d never said anything so damn suggestive in his life. “I mean are you ok? Do you want to freshen up at your hotel?” “No, she offered, I’m just a little damp thanks. I’ll be fine.” “OK! Then let’s get back. I’d say it’s almost lunch time! I’m famished.” “Uh Oh! I gotta run. I’m on the lunch committee!” spouted Carl, as he trundled off as fast as his new shoes could carry him. What a guy! Mused George. “Didn’t know they were offering a free lunch. Should we partake Madame?” George almost wanted to take his life. Partake? I’m losing it, he sighed. Jan yet again smiled sweetly and offered her arm. “What Ho! Here we go!”, he almost died.

“George! and Jan!” what a lovely couple. I swear Stephen had a bad case of hoof and mouth disease. He just never stopped. “May I offer you both a lovely pate? I made it last night. It’s my very own recipe.” He glowed, “Its just divine!.” Just what the doctor ordered, George mused. A little strange mashed meat with a touch of who knows. “Don’t mind if I do!” George smiled as he lightly selected a cracker with a minimal of “Pate” on the top. “And you Madame?” as he pushed the plate almost to Jan’s poor face. “UH!” She politely stepped back. “I’m Vegan, but thanks so much, I’m sure it’s lovely.” “Well!” George interjected, “Let’s take a look.” They slid over the table full of goodies. “Jan, here’s what looks like a real nice salad. How’s about I make a plate for you. Dressing?” he offered. “Um no! No please George, just plain thanks.” She smiled sheepishly. “You on a diet?” George questioned. “No! You’re perfect!” At that George decided that silence was golden as he went about making himself a plate. Man cannot live on love alone, he thought. Geezzz, bread George! Bread.

“OK! Ladies and Gentlemen! We’ll have a lovely lunch, thanks to Carl and his crew.” spouted our illustrious leader. “At precisely one p.m. we’ll gather in the main foyer.” He then made a military about-face and left the room. Looking at his watch George determined they had 45 minutes. “Time flies when you’re having fun”, he murmured. “Pardon George?” “Oh, just looking at the time Jan. Just looking at the time. We have lots of time.” “Come George let’s sit.” She whispered as she motioned to the couch. “Here, let me refill your salad. Nice cup of tea?” “That would be nice. Just a little lemon please.”  As Jan made her way to the couch George happily busied himself with her order.

“OH! MY GOD!” came from across the room. Everyone stopped and looked. George stood there stunned. Who could this be?

“Jan! My lovely! My adorably beautiful sweetheart!” as he swung across the room. “Where have you been? I’ve missed you so my darling!” If faces could drop George’s was on the floor. His heart sank. His shoulders dropped, his knees almost gave way and if God could have struck him with a bolt of lightning, he wouldn’t have felt a thing. He was numb. As the gushing continued, he could faintly see a glimmer of angst in Jan’s face. Hope he thought. “George!” Jan cried. “This is my good friend Paul from the Shaw.” All George could utter was “Oh”. “Come George, please sit down here next to me”, she motioned. For what seemed like hours George couldn’t move. FEET! George Feet! He reminded himself. NOW!

The next 20 minutes or so seemed like hours. They ate, drank and HE chatted. Seems Jan knew him well from The Shaw. They were great buddies. Jan filled him in. She’d understudied a few roles and had some bit parts. Paul had helped her out in bad times. “Oh Paul” she interrupted, “I really should introduce you to George.” Yes, she really should, he muttered. “Paul? This is George. We’ve been long-lost friends for years and hopefully for many more years to come.” “Hi George.” “Hi Paul” said George, as he gazed into Jan’s eyes. Many, many more years to come.

©J.E.Goldie 2/4/2019

“We are so lightly here. It is in love that we are made. In love we disappear.” Leonard Cohen

swirl-of-maple-leaves-royalty-free-stock-photo-leaf-swirl-clipart-1300_935

 

Advertisements

The Bartlett School – Part 5 of 5, 2/2/2019

parkbenchleaf

George chose a lovely bench near the small pond that they’d installed the previous year. “It was stocked with mature Koi fish hoping we’d have a pond full.” He said. “What we didn’t know is, that Koi eat their young. Luckily not all of them. Will you just look at those Koi Jan.” he smiled proudly. “They say they can live to be over 100 years old. Imagine that!” She glanced sweetly at George. “Yes, I know. We had quite a few at the Shaw. One, in particular, visited us every Summer for years then Wintered at home in a tank. I think he really liked his summer home.” “You were at The Shaw? Wow that’s interesting.” “The Shaw, yes” she responded hesitantly, not wanting to continue this line of questioning, Jan quickly changed the subject. “So, George aside from teaching your way into oblivion for the last 20 years, what else have you been up to….

“BUZZED YA!” came a call from behind, it was Carl yet again, bow flocking tie and all. “Shouldn’t you be in class Carl?” “Oh no,” he offered, my kids are all caught up for the day! Time for me to play.”  I almost commented on his lousy attempt at poetry but that would have been kind. “You two should come along with us to see the puppet act across the park. They say it’s grand! We’ve got time!” he offered exuberantly. Jan quickly piped up “George! That would be lovely! Lets!” Well I guess, “Yes let’s” was all I could say. “Lead the way Carl!” I added, only because it was the polite thing to say. Jan happily, jumped up and grabbed Carl’s arm, an arm I wanted to remove permanently. “Let’s go see the magic!” I added, trying to pretend I was truly interested. “It’ll be great George!” she beamed. That’s all I needed from Jan. A little beam of radiant sunshine! he mused, isn’t life grand! He suddenly felt light. Lighter, younger and filled with hope. “Onward!” he commanded. Now is the time for all good men, something or other, he thought. He bolstered his wit, cleverly bowed, and added with a smile, “My Lady and Gent”, he offered with a dramatic jester. OH! Man, oh man. Cool it George! He felt a light blush coming on. Jan raised a brow and he winked.

A crowd had already gathered. Laughter was ringing through the air, the pre-school kids were giggling and laughing so hard tears were running down their cheeks. All seemed well with his world.

“Looking a tad dark over there!” commented a man from the lawn. “Don’t call for rain.” someone added. “Hasn’t rained in weeks and we’ve been needing some.” another quipped. Carl in his usual commanding way, suggested we might find some cover, just in case. “Nice big tree over there.” He pointed. “Carl! That’s the most ridiculous suggestion I’ve heard in, I dunno. Under a tree in a storm?” Carl cringed. Jan rolled her eyes.

“I said I heard a rumbling!” cried a disgruntled old codger. His wife looked over her too thick glasses, pursed her lips and hushed him up with a stare that could stop a lion in its tracks. Even I felt intimidated. “George?” Jan whispered. “Maybe we should go back to the school. I’m also sure I heard some rumbling. I think he’s right.” I looked around, Jan looked at me and Carl, well, Carl just looked. Decision time, I thought. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. “Oh heck!” he decided. “We can sit this out for a bit longer.” Didn’t seem to be bothering anyone else, as he checked the heavens once more. Beautiful day!

What’s that saying? Don’t count your chickens?  

BOOM! All hell broke loose! Kids were screaming, puppets were flying, and the old man was cursing like the devil himself. Blankets and picnic baskets were rolling around like tumble weeds. “GEEZZ George!” shouted Carl, “Nice decision! I told ya we should a moved sooner!” Suddenly Carl sounded like he was going to cry. “Carl!” I said quietly trying to calm him, “It’s OK fella, just a little rain.” “Look! My suit! My bow tie! All ruined!” he wept. Jan gathered herself quickly as they hurried through the rain and thunder. “Carl?” I offered sincerely. “That fine suit and that first-class bow tie of yours never looked better.” Carl smiled.

©J.E.Goldie 2/2/2019

swirl-of-maple-leaves-royalty-free-stock-photo-leaf-swirl-clipart-1300_935

The Bartlett School – Part 4 of 4 – 1/31/2019

parkbenchleaf

“BOO!” Ah shit! What the…as he quickly shuffled over for some napkins. “Oh my God! He uttered! Jan? Jan Stuart? It IS you! Where have you been? I tried getting in touch, but no one knew where you were!” Suddenly he cut himself short, realizing his interest was a little too exuberant. He corrected, “Jan, how nice to see you.” “And you George.” She smiled. He’d done it now, he thought, she gets the picture. “Me? Oh, I’m just hunky-dory,” he blushed. “It’s good to see the old place.” She stumbled. “Not much has changed, including yourself. Look at you! Haven’t aged a day.” She offered. “Jan, you’re too kind.” He continued awkwardly. “George, I’ve never been accused of being  kind, especially when it comes down to good looks.” Oh my God! He was no Hercules, but she was his Aphrodite and was certainly working her charms on him, he trembled at the thought. Why the hell am I weak kneed. “Come, lets sit down.” He stuttered. “Good idea.” She acquiesced, as she beamed.

He gestured towards a nice comfy chair he thought she’d like. “Oh!”, He stumbled, “Ok we’ll sit there.” As she motioned to a couch. “Fine!”, he blushed, again, at sat at one end. Jan Stuart, he thought, as old romantic feelings rushed over him, he sighed deeply. She was just like he’d remembered her. Young and beautiful. Full figured with just the right curves, he pondered. Still as sexy as hell! OH MY GOD! What the hell am I thinking!. Mind control George! Mind control! This is a respectable, upstanding woman here! He thought, as he brushed his hair back and smiled. “So!” he continued, what’s new in your life?”

Just then the recess bell rang. Saved by the bell, he shook it off as the room began to get busy.

“Oh my God it’s Jan Craig!” Everyone, it seemed needed her attention. “George!” Carl shouted beyond need. “You been holding out on us? You bad boy! Lady’s Home Journal, my oh my.” he added. “You got yourself one heck of a catch! You’re a lucky man.” Well, if the room hadn’t been filling up, I’d have fixed his bow tie beyond recognition! Lucky the old fart had company.

“Well! Jannie-Jan-Jan-Jan! It’s been far too long! Where has our illustrious Deus Ex Machina of the Drama Department been all these years? Been trodding the boards, have we?”  Stephen was always a tad over dramatic or should I say, overly exuberant. A wanna be star of the local amateur theatre company. STOP! STOP IT! he arrested myself. “Now, Stephen,” I interjected, “Jan is our guest let’s not examine her.” I smiled in protest. He winced, looked over his glasses, abruptly turned and moved over to the coffee table.

Jan was suitably embarrassed, I couldn’t blame her. It was true, after all, that she’d left her Drama Studies hoping upon hope to have a successful, if not lucrative, acting career. She certainly had the bones for it, but perhaps not the drive.

Jan looked unmistakably shaken. “Look” I said, “Stephen is a little over the top. Don’t pay attention to anything he says. He blurts out the first thing that jumps into his imaginary mind.” I chuckled, trying to smooth things over. She smiled and quietly seemed to agree. “So, Jan. How about we have a light dinner tonight?” “I’d love to, she said.” And it’s not even close to noon yet, he regretted.

“Attention! Attention Please! Please! May I have your attention!” he cried. It seems Alex Partridge always thought he was standing in the ancient stadium of Delphi announcing the celebration of “Pythia” in honour of Apollo to the maddening crowd. “Alex!” I cried, “We’re not ten feet away from you!.” He immediately regretted his impulse. Alex pouted. “Fine!” he retorted. “Ladies and Gentlemen, some of you will resume your classes and the rest can remain seated or take a lounge around the grounds.” He sighed, looked at Jan and Jan smiled. That’s just about all I need, he thought. “Shall we?” he whispered. “Yes.” She said, as they strolled arm and arm towards the park. Just another fine day, he sighed. One of many.

©J.E.Goldie 1/31/2019 part 4 of 4

 

swirl-of-maple-leaves-royalty-free-stock-photo-leaf-swirl-clipart-1300_935

The Bartlett School – Part 3 of 3 – 1/29/2019

parkbenchleaf

As he started to mount the 32 steps to that intimidating front door, he began thinking about his first days. AH! Now it’s “first” days, he shook his head. Those doors, those steps, loomed ahead of him like the Cliffs of Dover. His feet suddenly felt heavier than a ton of bricks. If God had given him wings, he’d still feel the weight of that moment. Any other thoughts on this? He chuckled. It’s a door! Actually, two doors. Both as heavy as… a door. Damn heavy if truth be told! He’d climbed those steps and opened those doors for 20 years!  He sighed.

Youth had scared him into submission and now fear was creeping into his thoughts. OK! Jump back buddy! What’s the deal? He muttered. There are first days and there’s last days. If I were me, I tell me to get real, no big deal! Damn steps, he mumbled, as he mounted the cliff.

Once inside reality started to bite. OK! He thought let’s do her!

He didn’t know what he expected to change just walking through the doors. Geezz this place looks bigger today. Fine looking place. “Hey Sir!” cried a little freckled faced kid. Hay’s for horses kiddo!, I quipped as he scurried off. Gonna be a fine young man, one day, far off! He surmised. Could have been one of George’s brood, got the freckles to prove it.  “There’s my handsome man.” Joan fleetingly, said as she scrambled away.  Well! Should be more “Last” days like this! He admitted as he felt an embarrassing blush come over him. Specializing in Art History has given her a distinct appreciation of the perfect human physique! He pumped. Now! Now! He quietly mumbled. Trouble’s my name! But it ain’t my game!

“My Man! There you are!” came a command from my rear. Mind your flank! Was my immediate thought. Who goes there?“Yes Jerry, I’m standing close enough did you have to scream?” He protested. Almost jumped out of my bejesus jeans! “Most apologetically sorry” he quietly sniffled. Now who’s feeling like a worm looking for a hole. “No problem! “ he said as he sheepishly smiled. “What’s up Jer?” “Thought you might like a good cuppa, he grinned.” Now there’s an idea! Lead on!

As we approached the “Coffee” room aka the sloughing off place, it appeared to me that everyone must have been in class.

Not the usual “lounging around” feel, he chuckled. Ah well! Reasonable coffee, apple fritters! And empty couches. Perfect!

Aren’t you having one Jer, he offered. “Oh! Um no! Gotta run, you know how it is! Work! Work! Work!” he grinned, as he rushed out the door.  Fine, just fine, he mumbled as he made himself a cup, grabbed a fritter and sunk into a comfy chair.

 Nothing like the sweet sound of silence, he mused.

The thought occurred to him that no one ever called him by name. It was SIR! Hey Mr.! or HEY YOU! Or anything but “Hi George, lovely day.” George, he thought, was a simple and common name. In fact, it meant farmer in Greek. Common like Joe or Hank or Tim or whatever! Grandma called me Gigg, because she loved Babe Ruth so much. I did get Georgy of course, in grade school. Hated it! GEORGIE PORGIE PUDDIN AND PIE……. Well “Did not! I’d cry!” and run home. I guess that’s why they never stopped. Kid’s can be so cruel, he sighed.

I think I need another cup and maybe half a fritter, maybe.

“Hello George! What the aces are you sitting around here for all your lonesome?” Damn, he thought, it’s Carl. Just my luck! All decked out in his black, immaculately, pressed, suit. Bow tie, just a tad crooked. He had a dying urge to straighten it.  Not now George, Not Now! He held back, picking up the first piece of reading material he could find. Sadly, it was Lady’s Home Journal. “Something interesting in there?” prattled Carl.  “News about the latest hemlines got you curious?”. Um Yah, I said quickly, making it look serious. Luckily Carl sort of turned his head away, glanced upwards to The Almighty and walked away. Oh Man! He’ll be on to old lady Craig sooner than a bee to honey. Fine day, he thought. Somebody called me by name.

©J.E.Goldie 1/29/2019

 

swirl-of-maple-leaves-royalty-free-stock-photo-leaf-swirl-clipart-1300_935

 

 

 

The Bartlett School: part 1, 2 and 3rd and the latest post: 1/29/2019

parkbenchleaf

It was his last day at the Bartlett School. Twenty years is a long time. He expected nothing. Perhaps a good handshake, pat on the back and a fare-thee-well. But this day would remain in his memory forever. This would be a good day.

A perfect, 15 minute walk. Just the way it always was. He couldn’t remember a day when it wasn’t so. He guessed this would be the last perfect walk. Feet on the ground, left right left right, past Cone’s hardware, watching Miss Smith gather her house coat trying to pick up the morning paper from the bushes. Billie always managed to miss the stoop. Just how Mrs. Tool managed those two big Mastiff’s on a walk always entertained him. More like they were walking her, he chuckled. Old Sam having his morning coffee on that decrepit old porch of his. He’d considered more than once that he ought to volunteer to try fixing it, a bit. Another day perhaps. Jack, at the Esso always had the weather report. “Nice Day!” He’d say. “Yep it is!” I’d say. “Gonna rain soon, my hips say so.”, he’d go on. Don’t know how that man manages. “Well you have a nice day”, I’d quip and press on. Yes, it is, it’s a fine day.

One more perfect trip through Sinclair Park. He remembered the day he’d helped plant 10 of those Red Maples. Nobody really expected them to grow up so quickly. Come autumn they put on their red dresses and sure light up the park! Even I couldn’t resist picking up one or two leaves on the way home.  Mary and Stan Packard had put a local group together to take care of the garden. Nice Folks and It was nice all year round. He speculated on just how they managed to keep it going without more support. But they got it done! Should invite them over sometime. That barbecue never got much use. Should talk to Mary and Stan about maybe getting some hydrangea perennials, he thought. Some ground cover would be good too. Some of that Baltic Ivy creeps along real nice, but you’ve got to get it in the right spot. Not sure they like the hot sun much. Something to think about.

Betty Anne jogging again. She sure looks nice in those yellow shorts. Maybe I should throw her a compliment. Well, maybe not. Don’t want her thinking I’m interested. But she sure looks nice. Yep! Nice day. Think I’ll just sit right under this Maple for a spell. I’ve got lots of time.

Can’t remember when my last “last” day was, he thought. Last day of Summer? Fall on the horizon. Something funny in that, he smiled, the last, “last” day. The last day of the end? No silly, it’s the last day of a series of days. Then there it is, event over! Not quite right about that either, he thought. It wasn’t an event. Events start and end in days not years! Damn! Is that what I sound like? Poor kids. God, I’m losing my mind. Wish I had some peanuts those squirrels look hungry. Go on little ones I haven’t got anything for you today. Maybe tomorrow. Damn I’m talking to myself.

Morning to you too Mrs. Craig! Busy body’s already on her way home with the day’s “news”. She must think I’m playing hooky, he thought. Best get going! Damn look at the time! Where did it go? Can’t be losing time like this. Never did before.

Is that what last days do? Better gather myself up, don’t want them to think I’m regretting anything. It’s over. The end. Guess I better find some new beginning. He shouted across the park,

“Hey! Joe! What’s new this lovely day!”, as he trundled quickly

towards his last hurrah.

THE BARTLETT SCHOOL – Part 2

Joe, wouldn’t you know, shouted back. “I gotta run! Get ready for the fun!” Damn Joe was a poet and Don’t ya know it! Sometimes I crack myself up, he chuckled. Well, most people except old Sam seemed to be getting on with their day.

As he picked up his pace through the Park his memories of the past years at Bartlett began to fizzle in his brain. He recalled putting out more cash than he had for that brown leather briefcase he still carried, now worn and torn, just like himself, he admitted. Still useful, still got its memories, just like himself. Once or twice we almost lost each other in the shuffle, but still tried and true, he pondered.

The thought of not being useful kind of caught him short. WHOA! Don’t go there, he reminded himself. Look what happened to George Kramer. Here now, gone tomorrow. He’d planned a trip East as a personal gift for his retirement and blew that away on the bottle before he could even buy the ticket. Man! That was a shocker. His poor wife Grace was beside herself. Heck! So was the town, for that matter. George was such an upstanding citizen. Why!  George bought half of them Maples we planted, come to think of it. God only knows what got into him. Nobody, it seems ever saw him take a drink. At least nobody admitted they saw him drunk. I guess Grace must have, he considered.

HEY Candice! Off to school I see. Have a great day! And DO YOUR HOMEWORK, he added, like she’d listen. Candice was a good kid most times, if she wasn’t caught, he chuckled. Rumours are just that, rumours. Can’t put fact to them unless of course you’re Mrs. “Busy-body” Craig. Who always had the days news before the crack of dawn, well, he pondered, someone’s gotta do it, might as well be her. Poor woman even looked the part. What’s the name of that Movie character? Right, Miss Marple!. If we ever had a mystery to solve, she’d be the one to figure it out. No two ways about it.

Wish I’d picked up a nice bunch of posies for Kate. Gonna miss her. She kept things so tidy in the office we sometimes joked about what she’d do if we put something where it wasn’t meant to be. In fact, we secretly moved things around one time and the look on her face was priceless. We all had to leave we were laughing so darn hard. I almost got caught  but I  was able to put a darn good startled look on my face before she noticed. That’s one prank I regret. Poor sweetheart looked like she was going to faint. Pretty young girl too. Missed the boat on that one, he regretted. Ah well. Life goes on. Now there’s a phrase that’s over used. What’s it really, mean. Life is life. It’s a noun no? Ok so it’s a noun. So, two nouns and a verb in between. What’s “on” got to do with it? God! He shook it off.

I think I need a coffee. Hank brewed the best coffee in town at The Coffee Man. Made real good apple fritters too. He was a little, shall we say, on the robust side but heck, his girl Sally kept him hopping. You could see it in their eyes, a love beyond natural. WHOA! He thought, where’d that come from. I really do need a coffee, he smiled. Yep! It’s a darn nice day! Bit of a chill in the air. You’d think Fall was just around the corner. Always loved the Autumn. No death there just renewal. GADS! You’d think I was on my way to a funeral or something. It’s just the “Last” day for heaven’s sake. Didn’t think this was a such big deal to me until just now.

OVER HERE! OVER THERE! OVER YONDER OVER THERE! He began singing to himself. Singing anything to get his mind off  of those crazy thoughts. They kept creeping up on him. In a few more minutes he’d be there. Somewhere he’d never considered being. Somewhere that seemed to be nowhere. Somewhere that lead to endings and endings had never been part of his agenda. Endings were for short term events. He knew that to be true. At least he thought he did.

The Bartlett School – part 3

As he started to mount the 32 steps to that intimidating front door, he began thinking about his first days. AH! Now it’s “first” days, he shook his head. Those doors, those steps, loomed ahead of him like the Cliffs of Dover. His feet suddenly felt heavier than a ton of bricks. If God had given him wings, he’d still feel the weight of that moment. Any other thoughts on this? He chuckled. It’s a door! Actually, two doors. Both as heavy as… a door. Damn heavy if truth be told! He’d climbed those steps and opened those doors for 20 years!  He sighed.

Youth had scared him into submission and now fear was creeping into his thoughts. OK! Jump back buddy! What’s the deal? He muttered. There are first days and there’s last days. If I were me, I tell me to get real, no big deal! Damn steps, he mumbled, as he mounted the cliff. Once inside reality started to bite. OK! He thought let’s do her!

He didn’t know what he expected to change just walking through the doors. Geezz this place looks bigger today. Fine looking place. “Hey Sir!” cried a little freckled faced kid. Hay’s for horses kiddo!, I quipped as he scurried off. Gonna be a fine young man, one day, far off! He surmised. Could have been one of George’s brood, got the freckles to prove it.  “There’s my handsome man.” Joan fleetingly, said as she scrambled away.  Well! Should be more “Last” days like this! He admitted as he felt an embarrassing blush come over him. Specializing in Art History has given her a distinct appreciation of the perfect human physique! He pumped. Now! Now! He quietly mumbled. Trouble’s my name! But it ain’t my game!

“My Man! There you are!” came a command from my rear. Mind your flank! Was my immediate thought. Who goes there? “Yes Jerry, I’m standing close enough did you have to scream?” He protested. Almost jumped out of my bejesus jeans! “Most apologetically sorry” he quietly sniffled. Now who’s feeling like a worm looking for a hole. “No problem! “ he said as he sheepishly smiled. “What’s up Jer?” “Thought you might like a good cuppa, he grinned.” Now there’s an idea! Lead on!

As we approached the “Coffee” room aka the sloughing off place, it appeared to me that everyone must have been in class. Not the usual “lounging around” feel, he chuckled. Ah well! Reasonable coffee, apple fritters! And empty couches. Perfect! Aren’t you having one Jer, he offered. “Oh! Um no! Gotta run, you know how it is! Work! Work! Work!” he grinned, as he rushed out the door.  Fine, just fine, he mumbled as he made himself a cup, grabbed a fritter and sunk into a comfy chair.

 Nothing like the sweet sound of silence, he mused. The thought occurred to him that no one ever called him by name. It was SIR! Hey Mr.! or HEY YOU! Or anything but “Hi George, lovely day.” George, he thought, was a simple and common name. In fact, it meant farmer in Greek. Common like Joe or Hank or Tim or whatever! Grandma called me Gigg, because she loved Babe Ruth so much. I did get Georgy of course, in grade school. Hated it! GEORGIE PORGIE PUDDIN AND PIE……. Well “Did not! I’d cry!” and run home. I guess that’s why they never stopped. Kid’s can be so cruel, he sighed.

I think I need another cup and maybe half a fritter, maybe. “Hello George! What the aces are you sitting around here for all your lonesome?” Damn, he thought, it’s Carl. Just my luck! All decked out in his black, immaculately, pressed, suit. Bow tie, just a tad crooked. He had a dying urge to straighten it.  Not now George, Not Now! He held back, picking up the first piece of reading material he could find. Sadly, it was Lady’s Home Journal. “Something interesting in there?” prattled Carl.  “News about the latest hemlines got you curious?”. Um Yah, I said quickly, making it look serious. Luckily Carl sort of turned his head away, glanced upwards to The Almighty and walked away. Oh Man! He’ll be on to old lady Craig sooner than a bee to honey. Probably be headlines tomorrow. Fine day, he thought, mighty fine. Somebody called me by name.

 

©J.E.Goldie

 

swirl-of-maple-leaves-royalty-free-stock-photo-leaf-swirl-clipart-1300_935

 

The Extraordinary Glenn Gould

glenn_piano_v2

Glenn Herbert Gould (born Gold), pianist, broadcaster, writer, composer, conductor, organist (born 25 September 1932 in Toronto, ON; died 4 October 1982 in Toronto, ON).

As a child I asked if I could learn to play the piano. I was told I couldn’t because we didn’t have a piano. I was clever enough to say I could practice at school, but my protests were ignored. BUT! Enough of me! Glenn Gould lived in my neighbourhood for the latter years of his life. He haunted the 24 hour Fran’s Restaurant not far from his penthouse apartment. There is a plaque on the lawn. I can’t help but wonder if his spirit still walks those rooms. Those rooms where he sought refuge from the outside world. Such a complex character who’s only real refuge, in my mind, was the music. ©J.E.Goldie

Details from The Canadian Encyclopedia:

During his concert days, Gould noted that European critics wrote about his interpretations, while those in North America wrote more about his eccentricities. In his later years, a growing Gould legend was fed by reports of his personal eccentricities and lifestyle. He lived modestly and alone (he never married), guarded his private life jealously, refused to make public appearances of any kind and rarely left Toronto (especially after 1970, when he moved his recording operations there). In recent years, information regarding Gould’s discreet romantic relationships have come to light, most notably his five-year affair (beginning in 1967) with the painter Cornelia Foss, wife of the American composer Lukas Foss, who left her husband and moved with her children to Toronto for several years to live near Gould.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Broadcasting and Recording Career, 1964–82

While Gould’s live concert career wound down, his radio and TV recitals and documentaries were becoming more innovative and sophisticated as he explored beyond the limits of the conventional broadcast recital. In the early 1960s, he began giving radio and TV recitals that were unified thematically or tied together with his own spoken commentary. He also became prolific as a writer, exploring many musical and non-musical topics in liner notes, periodical articles, reviews, scripts and interviews.

As he approached age 50, Gould was planning to phase out his career as a recording pianist while fulfilling ambitious plans to make recordings as a conductor. He made his first and only official recording as a conductor (Wagner’s Siegfried-Idyll) in the summer of 1982. He also arranged music for the feature film The Wars (1983).

Gould planned to stop recording altogether around 1985, and devoted himself to writing and composing. However, on 27 September 1982, a few days after his 50th birthday, and approximately a week after the release of a best-selling second recording of the Goldberg Variations, he suffered a massive stroke and died on 4 October 1982.

THE INTERVIEWS and THE MUSIC

music_notes_png20

 

 

 

 

 

The Irrepressable, Irascible and Irreplaceable Nellie McLung

Nellie McClung

Oct 20, 1873 – Sep 1, 1951 (age 77)

Timeline

1896: Nellie McClung married Robert McClung on August 25, 1896.

1908: She had already written her first novel, Sowing Seeds in Danny, published in 1908.

1914: She also played the role of the Conservative Premier of Manitoba, Rodmond Roblin, in a mock Women’s Parliament staged in Winnipeg in 1914 under the auspices of the Canadian Women’s Press Club.

1921: In 1921, McClung was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly as a Liberal.

1923: McClung’s house is in Calgary, Alberta, her residence from 1923 to the mid-1930s, still stands and is designated a heritage site.

1947: Sowing Seeds in Danny written by Nellie McClung was first published in 1947. Wikipedia

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

nelliequote3

The various careers of Nellie McClung cannot be described separately, as her teaching, writing and public speaking abilities all fueled her desire to improve the rights of Canadian women. This desire, combined with her true activist nature, Christian faith and sense of duty, meshed perfectly with the social and moral reform movements arising in the West in the early 1900s and produced one of Canada’s great social activists. Rural life, the plight of immigrants, conditions in cities and factories, the movements for prohibition and women’s suffrage, the First World War, the Depression and the Second World War provided the historical context for Nellie, both as a writer and a social reformer. Although some call her a crusader, it is said that she was a practical and realistic leader who put words into political action.

While a young mother in Manitou, she started working with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She founded many organizations: the Winnipeg Political Equality League, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada and the Women’s Institute of Edmonton, for which she was also the first president. She was also active in, among others, the Canadian Authors Association, the Canadian Women’s Press Club, the Methodist Church of Canada and the Calgary Women’s Literary Club.

Although she was an advocate of a broad range of issues, her successful leadership was applied to her constant causes: women’s suffrage and prohibition. She started public speaking by giving readings (called recitals), as an author. However, she soon developed into a lecturer, accepting speaking engagements on suffrage and temperance. She was a prominent speaker for the Liberal Party in the Manitoba provincial elections of 1914 and 1915. Her effort was rewarded in 1916 when Manitoba became the first province to give women the right to vote and to run for public office. After moving to Edmonton, she continued the campaign for suffrage in Alberta. In 1916, the fight was won at the federal level.

She was elected as a Liberal (Opposition) member of the Alberta legislature 1921 to 1926 but was not re-elected in 1926. “…She sponsored such social legislation as dental and medical care for school children, married women’s property rights, and mothers’ allowances” (Matheson and Lang p. 15). An independently-minded member, she spoke out about her own party’s measures or supported government initiatives to improve the rights of women and children such as old age pensions, amendments to the Dower Act, public health nursing services and better conditions in factories.

Some precedent setting positions Nellie McClung attained were:

delegate to the Women’s War Conference in Ottawa, 1918;

sole woman delegate of the Methodist Church of Canada to the Ecumenical Conference in London, England, 1921;

 only woman member of the Canadian delegation to the League of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1938;

 and first woman member of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Board of Broadcast Governors in 1936, serving until 1942. She made extensive speaking tours of Canada, the United States and England either as an author or activist.

Library and Archives Canada

nelliequote1

 

 

*Thankyou Nellie*

nelliestatue

 

swirl