Our beloved and brilliant Canadian comedian – John Candy🌹💖

Shown: John Candy (late 1980s)

Born October 31st, 1950 and laid to rest May 4th, 1994

John was not only a brilliant comedian, he was a warm and wonderful human being. I had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions. Everyone in his vacinity was important to him. SCTV brought John to the world’s attention and I was fortunate enough to be a witness. As a performer I had the opportunity to become a regular on the set during the filming of SCTV, appearing as an ongoing Extra. The entire cast was brilliant and no one could have foreseen or believe just how successful it would become. Here we have a Television Show with an opening showing television sets being thrown out of windows. As usual I have copied some biographical material and some wonderful videos of the SVTV Series. John? Thanks this has been fun! ©J.E.Goldie or to you John, just Jen xo

 

 

John Candy, actor (b at Toronto, Ont 31 Oct 1950; d at Durango, Mexico 4 Mar 1994), a gifted screen comedian who got his start doing stage work and acting in commercials and low-budget Canadian films in Toronto before moving to Chicago to join the Second City improvisational troupe in 1972. Soon afterwards he returned to Canada to take his place as a regular in Toronto’s Second City company, eventually becoming one of the key players on its spin-off television show, “SCTV.” There he created and played regular characters Johnny LaRue, Doctor Tongue and, along with fellow castmember Eugene Levy, one half of the accordion-playing Schmenge brothers.

Roles in major films soon followed, with the rotund Candy often cast as a lovable slob or loser with a heart of gold, as in Splash(1984). His later films as a supporting player included Spaceballs, Planes, Trains and Automobiles (both 1987) and Home Alone (1990). As his popularity grew, he was increasingly cast in the lead in films such as Uncle Buck (1989), Only the Lonely (1991) and Cool Runnings (1993). In spite of living in Los Angeles, Candy was known for his profound attachment to Canada, which at one point manifested itself with his acquisition of the Toronto Argonauts football team in 1991, along with partners Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall. In 1992 Candy cancelled his appearance as host of the Genie Awards after the CBC promoted the show with a campaign that joked about his size. He died of a heart attack while shooting a film in Mexico in 1994. -The Canadian Encyclopedia-

During the 1970s, John Candy appeared in a number of television and big screen projects including ‘Dr. Zonk and the Zunkins’, ’90 Minutes Live’, ‘Coming Up Rosie’, ‘Second City TV’, ‘Tunnel Vision’, ‘The Clown Murders’, ‘The Silent Partner’ and ‘Lost and Found’. After this, in the 1980s, he was associated with the TV projects ‘Big City Comedy’, ‘SCTV Network 90’, ‘The New Show’, ‘The Canadian Conspiracy’, ‘The Last Polka’ and ‘Camp Candy’.

During this time, the actor also got featured in many films, such as ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘It Came from Hollywood’, ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’, ‘Splash’, ‘Summer Rental’, ‘Armed and Dangerous’, ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ and ‘Uncle Buck’, to name a few. Then in the year 1990, Candy appeared in an episode of ‘The Dave Thomas Comedy Show’ and also acted in the movies ‘Masters of Menace’ and ‘Home Alone’.

In 1991, he was cast in the films ‘Nothing But Trouble’, ‘Career Opportunities’, ‘Only the Lonely’, ‘Delirious’ and ‘JFK’. Soon after this, the Canadian artiste made his appearances in the movies ‘Once Upon a Crime’, ‘Boris and Natasha: The Movie’, ‘Rookie of the Year’ and ‘Cool Runnings’. In 1994, he did the TV flick ‘Hostage for a Day’. That year, his movie ‘Wagons East!’ was also released posthumously. -Famous People-

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Cya John. 😊❤😂❤ Thanks for the Memories………

He was a shooting star that burned out in the wink of a eye, yet left such brightness in his wake. ©J.E.Goldie 2/16/2019

 

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Mary Ann Shadd Cary – An American-Canadian Hero. “Self-Reliance is the True Road to Independence”

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October 9, 1823 – June 5, 1893

Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an American-Canadian anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher, and lawyer. She was the first Black woman publisher in North America and the first woman publisher in Canada.

Timeline

1823:

Mary Ann Shadd was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on October 9, 1823, the eldest of 13 children to Abraham Doras Shadd (1801–1882) and Harriet Burton Parnell, who were free African-Americans.

1853:

Shadd Cary was an abolitionist who became the first female African-American newspaper editor in North America when she edited The Provincial Freeman in 1853.

1855:

She attempted to participate in the 1855 Philadelphia Colored Convention, but the assembly debated whether to even let her sit as a delegate.

1856:

In 1856, she married Thomas F. Cary, a Toronto barber who was also involved with the Provincial Freeman.

1880:

She wrote for the newspapers National Era and The People’s Advocate and in 1880, organized the Colored Women’s Progressive Franchise.

1893:

She died in Washington, D.C., on June 5, 1893 from stomach cancer.

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Mary Ann implored blacks to take the initiative in anti-slavery reform without waiting for whites to provide beneficence or support. Shadd, only in her mid 20s, had thus gained considerable recognition by articulating what would become her perennial themes: black independence and self-respect.

Shadd’s prominence was truly established, however, when she became a leader and spokesperson for the black refugees who had fled from the United States to Upper Canada after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. Believing that she could help these black emigrants, in the fall of 1851 Shadd moved to Windsor, where she opened a school with the support of the American Missionary Association.

In the summer of 1852 she had published A plea for emigration, a pamphlet in which she sought to encourage American blacks to immigrate to Canada and simultaneously attacked the growing separatist philosophy of Canadian blacks. Despite the widespread circulation of this pamphlet, Shadd desired a continuing medium through which she could disseminate her beliefs. In early 1853, with the timely help of fellow black abolitionist Samuel Ringgold Ward, Shadd published the first edition of the Provincial Freeman.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary Put Out The Word: Confront.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary Put Out The Word: Confront.

By March 1854 she had found sufficient support for the Provincial Freeman to resume publication. With the motto “Self-Reliance is the True Road to Independence,” the Freeman, now based in Toronto, began appearing on a regular basis. Shadd used her newspaper to comment on all aspects of black life in Canada, but she focused especially on problems of racial discrimination and segregation. She assailed anyone, blacks and whites alike, who sought to compromise with slavery, and she particularly castigated her fellow blacks who were prepared to accept second-class status. She reserved her greatest vituperation, however, for self-segregated black settlements: to her, these settlements only fostered discrimination, and she urged blacks to seek assimilation into Canadian society. John Scoble and Josiah Henson* of the Dawn settlement were pilloried almost as exhaustively as Bibb, while grudging approval was granted to the Elgin settlement under William King.

Regular publication of the Freeman was interrupted several times because of financial problems. On 30 June 1855 William P. Newman became editor, though Shadd may well have remained a powerful background force, and the paper was moved to Chatham. In January 1856 Shadd married black businessman Thomas Cary and that May she returned to the Freeman as one of its three editors. After 1856, however, it appeared only sporadically and by 1859, when the financial burden had become too debilitating, publication ceased entirely.

In the wake of the Freeman’s demise, Shadd remained in Chatham and returned to teaching. Yet she watched with great interest as the sectional crisis intensified in the United States. Her hope for the destruction of slavery in the impending conflict had been heightened by John Brown’s arrival in Canada in the spring of 1858. Part of a group that met with Brown, Shadd became privy to the visionary’s intended plans. Another member of the group, Osborne Perry Anderson, a young black, was so taken with Brown that he joined him at Harpers Ferry in October 1859 and survived the raid to record his memoirs in A voicefrom Harper’s Ferry, edited and prepared for publication by Shadd in 1861.

Through the early years of the Civil War, Shadd continued to teach in an interracial school in Chatham. But she soon grew tired of watching the conflict from a distance. Anxious to assist in the Northern war effort, in late 1863 she accepted an invitation from Martin Robinson Delany to serve as an enlistment recruiter; she returned to the United States to participate in the recruitment programs of several states. Shadd agonized over whether to remain in the United States after Appomattox. She finally concluded that she could best serve her people by remaining to help with the education and assimilation of the millions of newly emancipated blacks. Toward this end, in July 1868 she obtained an American teaching certificate and taught briefly in Detroit before relocating in Washington, D.C. Supporting herself by teaching, she would eventually receive a law degree from Howard University in 1883.

Shadd continued to participate in both civil rights and equal rights movements in the United States, returning to Canada only briefly, in 1881, to organize a suffragist rally. Enfeebled by rheumatism and cancer, she died in the summer of 1893.

The Canadian Encyclopedia

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Caged Bird

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
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Michael Burgess Canadian Icon and our “Mighty” Jean Valjean, Les Miserables

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Born July 22, 1945  in Regina and laid to rest September 28, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario.

Written by MARTIN MORROW SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2, 2015 and UPDATED MAY 15, 2018

Michael Burgess made you feel proud. Whether he was singing the national anthem, stirringly, for a Toronto Maple Leafs game or leading an exceptional cast as a mighty Jean Valjean in the landmark all-Canadian production of Les Misérables, Mr. Burgess knew how to pluck the national heartstrings. He was the world-class singer who chose to remain in Canada; the exquisite theatre artist whose biggest thrill was playing old timers’ hockey with the NHL greats.

Mr. Burgess was also a man with a big heart to match his big voice, whose acts of generosity were legion. He continually lent his golden tenor and magnetic presence to charitable causes and was always there for his friends. Their appreciation was reflected in the huge outpouring of love and affection that swiftly followed the news of his death at the age of 70 on Sept. 28. Everyone from theatre impresario David Mirvish to hockey legend Bobby Orr expressed their sorrow via both traditional and social media. “Today, we have lost a great Canadian,” Mr. Orr said in a statement – a sentiment few would dispute.

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Mr. Burgess, known as Wally to his family, was born Walter Roy Burgess in Regina, on July 22, 1945. A Roman Catholic, his confirmation saint’s name was Michael and he later adopted it as his professional name. He was the oldest child of William (Bill) Burgess and Dorothy (Dolly) Burgess (née Aldercotte), who would go on to provide him with six brothers and sisters.

Bill Burgess, an aspiring lawyer, moved the family to Toronto in 1946. Growing up in suburban Etobicoke, Wally began to embrace two of his lifelong passions at an early age. “He was an excellent hockey player,” his brother Wayne recalled. “Every winter, between the ages of eight and 13, we created a hockey rink in our backyard and broke many a basement window with our unerringly accurate slap shots.”

His true gift, however, began to emerge when he and Wayne were enrolled at St. Michael’s Choir School. By the time he was a teenager, Wally Burgess was singing on CBC Television’s Cross-Canada Hit Parade and Holiday Ranch as well as on the radio.

After briefly considering the priesthood and a career in law, he studied acting at the University of Ottawa, inevitably playing the lead roles in student and amateur productions

As his career progressed, Mr. Burgess began to shift away from musical theatre and into opera. It wasn’t until the end of the 1980s that he found the perfect role that melded both art forms. When he landed the part of Jean Valjean in the first Canadian production of the London-New York hit Les Misérables, which opened in March, 1989, at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, he helped prove that his country had talent every bit as extraordinary as what could be found on West End and Broadway stages. And while Les Mis was an ensemble show with no official “stars,” Mr. Burgess’s performance soon became one of its major attractions.

While there was nobody like Mr. Burgess for making hearts swell at the singing of O Canada, his signature song remained the tear-inducing Bring Him Home from Les Mis. It’s the hero Jean Valjean’s aching plea to God to take him in exchange for sparing the life of the young man whom he considers a son. Perhaps the power of Mr. Burgess’s rendition rests in the way that prayer seemed to come from his own heart, reflecting his own selfless nature.

 

 

Bring  him home

 

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The Course

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The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know about myself….and others. I continue to learn.

I’ve reached an age where knowledge exceeds impetuosity, where wisdom allows freedom. An age where unreasonable demands without question become irreconcilable.

I give you this wisdom. As you go through the current demands of your life be sure this is your course.

If the course is not yours and is demanded of you, be sure you want to accept the regret. You will change the lives and times of others.

Are you ready? Unreasonable demands without question are irreconcilable. The atmosphere will be extremely stressful for you, if the course is not yours.

©J.E.Goldie 2017

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The Bartlett School 9 of 9 2/12/2019

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After what is seemed like hours going over a “So called menu” George looked pleadingly at Jan. “OK George”, she offered willingly, “You do have choices. We vegan’s, aren’t insensitive to meat eaters, you know,” she quipped. “Do I detect a teensy bit of sarcasm?” he mumbled. “Now come now George!” Paul interjected. “Here look!  This one, features a sun-dried tomato walnut “meat”, shredded kale, salsa, spiced tomato rice, green onions, black beans, and humus. Divine!” George cringed at the very thought of walnut meat. “I’ll have a large salad I think, Paul. That’ll do the trick for me, but thanks.” “For you madame number 2? ” Yes thankyou” smiled Jan. The waiter turned his attention to Paul. “Sir?” “I’ll have what she’s having.” He gestured to Jan. “But hold the nuts.” He instructed. “Very nice” the waiter agreed.

“Well!” Jan sighed, “Here we are.”

“George darling! There you are. What does a girl have to do to pin you down?” came a familiarly, sweet voice behind him. “Pam! Hi! Where’d you come from?” he faltered, “I meant to say, long time no see.” He panicked, as he glanced at the smirk on Jan’s face. “Yes! Too long I’d say. It’s so good to see you after so many years. Still as handsome as ever.” she glowed. Jan began to giggle, and quickly covered up behind her napkin. Paul was in awe. What’s this guy got that I don’t, he thought. Paul stood up and quickly introduced himself extending his hand. Hi, I’m Paul, he offered. “So, George do you have plans for this evening?” she smiled sweetly turning from Paul. “I’m going to a Murder Mystery tonight at The Bartlett. Should be so much fun!” she said exuberantly. I’m sure they can find room for one more!” she offered. “Well”, George reluctantly added, “we’re just having a light bite.” GEORGE! Light bite?  He regretted. Been hanging around with Paul too long. “Well no! I mean yes, I mean, all of us are going tonight,” he stumbled. Jan could hardly contain herself. “Well then, I guess I’ll see you all later then. I’m on my way to get my costume.” Costume? We need a costume? George suddenly felt sick. “Sure, yes, we’ll see you later then,” he offered quickly.

“I didn’t even think to read the rest of this paper. Must be more instructions.” As the waiter was attempting to serve the table, George was excitedly trying to read the yellow sheet.  “George?” Jan said quietly, while lightly removing the sheet from his now trembling hands. “Relax, we have time. Eat your salad, slowly, and then we’ll figure things out.” “I agree with Jan” Paul said skeptically as he flipped his napkin, placed it in his lap and began to eat. Costume? George murmured to himself. Costume? I don’t want to wear a costume, he whined to himself. Jan gave him a motherly look and picked up her fork. He obeyed.

The salad wasn’t half bad George pondered, but he hoped upon hope there would be real food at this event. “Totally enjoyable!” Paul chirped. “I’d recommend this establishment to anyone!” Jan nodded and smiled. “So!” George added, “we now have about 3 hours to gather our thoughts and get ready.” For who knows what, he thought to himself. “Well let’s take a read!” Paul commanded and added “Over coffee and a little dessert?” he inquired. George looked at Jan painfully. She winced and nodded. “Why not.” He grumbled. “Waiter!”

“So!” George took the lead, “Papers out!” Willingly, his loyal troops laid their instructions on the table. “Role Call” Mr. Primrose commanded. “Miss Partridge?” “Here, Pears and all!” Jan said laughing. “Monsieur Richard?” “Je suis Ici!” Paul stood abruptly almost taking the table-cloth with him. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Paul apologized   Now what George muttered. “Let’s take a look.” “More coffee?” The waiter offered. “Yes please.” said George. “I think we’re going to need it.”  He peered over at Jan pleadingly, “Why don’t you start Jan? You’re the actor around here.”  “I’m not sure what you mean by that George.” she got defensive. “I meant that you studied the Theatre and would be the best one to help us.” GEORGE! You blunderer! Now look what you’ve done! “Jan, we need your help.” He said with his best forgive me eyes. Jan melted. “OK guys!” as she now assembled HER troops like a General. “Each of us will take turns reading our character descriptions, out loud, and we’ll go from there.” George looked at Paul, Paul looked back at George, then they both nodded sheepishly at Jan. “Yes Ma’am.” They helplessly whispered. Thankyou God George mused, we might just enjoy this. We will certainly enjoy this. He melted into Jan’s eyes. “Waiter!”, he commanded. “More coffee!”

©J.E.Goldie 2/12/2019

Mary Treadwell: “Everybody on this ship is in love. Love me, whether or not, I love you. Love me whether I am fit to love. Love me whether, I am able to love. Even is there is no such thing as love. Love me.” Ship of Fools

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The Bartlett School – Part 8 of 8 – 2/10/2019

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Three P.M. was looming like a huge charging elephant in George’s vivid imagination. “Shall we take a walk through the park, before our pending liaison, with PAUL?” George quipped. “That is unless you’d rather check out our “Roles” for this evenings event.” “That wasn’t the first thing on my mind” Jan giggled, “But maybe we should be prepared. This could be my big break!” she smiled. George was delighted. “After you my little starlet!” Jan curtsied. “Let’s get ready for your big debut!”

Most were still in class, so their early arrival took Miss Jones by surprise. “We’re here for our scripts Miss DeMille!” George said exuberantly. “Oh, I’m Miss Jones” she apologized. “I don’t think there’s a Miss DeMille working here.” Poor miss Jones was so taken aback she blushed. “I must apologize Miss Jones, I was joking, sorry”, he whispered. “We’re here for our character descriptions for this evening’s Murder Mystery, can you help us with that?” “OH YES! Yes! Certainly! Now let me see, where did I put those papers” she scrambled. “I think we’re early,” He nudged Jan. “You may be right,” she whispered. While Miss Jones was losing her grip, George decidedly looked around her desk. “How about these?” he queried.  “OH, my goodness. Yes! That’s them! Very good! Very good! How could I have missed them!” she rambled. “It’s ok Miss Jones, I only noticed because they’re yellow. They kind of stood out!” he was trying to be nice. “Just pick one”, she instructed. “Any one?” George quipped. “Well, a male one for you.” she added. “Of course.” George smiled. “Well, we’ve managed to get this far.” George laughed. “Yes,” Jann giggled, “I’ll take Miss Partridge, sounds interesting.” “If pears are to your liking.” George grinned. “Let’s see. How about Mr. Primrose for me, how much trouble could a Mr. Primrose get himself into?” he inquired. “Well, we’ll soon find out” Jan said. “Shall we prepare to the Park my fellow thespian?” George grandly gestured. “After you Mr. Primrose.” Jan curtsied. “Nice day, if it doesn’t rain.” George laughed.

“George?” Jan said as they took a park bench not to far from the school, “Have you ever done a Murder Mystery before?” “No, come to think of it, I haven’t. But there are people I’d like to murder.” he laughed. “George! You’re not serious!” Jan giggled. “No, of course not” George lied. “You don’t suppose Paul would like to participate in our little adventure, do you?” “Well,” said Jan “We could ask him over lunch.” “LUNCH! Oh, geez what time is it?” stammered George. “Time, we sauntered back, unfortunately.” Jan sighed. Time flies when you’re having fun, George pondered sadly.

“There you are!” shouted Paul. “J’ai trouvé un magnifique français buffet dans la ville!” George cringed. “It’s going be the hit of the show!” Paul was so ecstatic George swore he’d faint. “Marvelous!” Jan offered. George shook his hand. “Well after your successful sojourn,” George pumped, “I presume you’re famished.” It was the least he could say. “OH! Paul?” Jan quickly inserted, “We’re all invited to participate in a Murder Mystery this evening. I don’t suppose you’d like to join us.” she offered. “Mademoiselle, Je serais honoré!” Figures George murmured. “George? Let’s go get Paul’s sheets, he’ll need to pick a role.” Uh huh, George sighed under his breath. “De cette façon, mon homme!” George said smugly. “We’re back Miss Jones.” She jumped. “We need one more character breakdown.” “Let’s see,” George pondered, as he shuffled the sheets of paper. Hmmm. “How about this one.” he offered. Paul examined the role. “Perfect!” Paul said “Le chef du manoir!, Monsieur Richard.” “Yep! I can pick em,” thought George.

“Now for a nice light pre-dinner snack. You never know what’s going to be on the menu this evening.” He pondered. “Hopefully they’ll have real food tonight.” He spouted. Now who’s the jerk, he regretted. “Just kidding of course”, he quickly corrected, as Jan nudged him. “George?” she reassured him, “I’m sure it will be lovely.” “Lead the way Monsieur Richard!” George commanded. “Bien sûr de cette façon!” Paul replied. This IS going to be fun, George grinned, as Jan rolled her eyes.

Lots and lots of fun.

©J.E.Goldie 2/10/2019

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The Bartlett School – part 7 of 7 2/9/2019

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George couldn’t help thinking about those “Bad times,” Jan had fleetingly referred to. Everyone goes through “Bad Times”. His mind started to work overtime. Just how bad and bad how? Now he was starting to sound like a jealous lover he thought. I hope this guy’s got better things to do, he projected.

“Jan, I just happened to be in town collecting some antiques for our new season and heard you were here. How lucky is that!” Paul said exuberantly. Yah, how very lucky, George grumbled to himself. Jan smiled and had to agree. “So! George! Are you planning to stick around? I thought I’d take Jan off your hands to see the town. Don’t get to these little places very often.” Little places my Ass, George thought. Some sort of big time Jerk. “Um” George stumbled. Quick George think! “Well Jan and I have plans for Dinner.” He smartly quipped. “Good! I’ve heard there’s a great little Vegan restaurant not far from here! I’ll join you. On me!” he pumped. George was now in panic mode. “Why don’t we finish our lunch?” he smartly suggested. “Will you have a something?” “I’ve had my lunch.” Stated Paul, “One lunch per day will suffice, but Thanks.” George was at a loss for words. “Look! I’ll let you guys finish up with your school business, however important that could be, and meet up with you later. Say three o’clock?” he questioned. “Fine!” George said happily. Better qualify that George thought. “Too bad you can’t stay.” He quickly added, trying to be sincere. “Well Jan my dear, I guess later it is! Be back at 3 on the nose!” he added. He’s currently got one damn lucky nose right now, George imagined. One DAMN lucky nose. “

This, time Paul swung OUT, of the room hailing good-bye to the crowd. George waved a happy anon.

Jan had been sitting there watching George’s futile attempts to put Paul off. “George, come sit by me.” She patted the couch next to her. The animal in him obeyed happily. No whimpering! George! NO WHIMPERING! as he sat close.  “George.”, she reassuringly said, “Paul is just a dear old friend. As simple as that.” she put. “It was frankly nice to see him after all these years. He’s harmless.” George considered this for a moment but quickly concluded HARMLESS as my great aunt’s cat! “Oh, I understand Jan, just a good friend from way back.” He smiled, as thou he understood. “It’s time!” cried Carl. “Let’s not let our fearless leader wait! Off to the foyer! Shall we.” What now he thought.

As the group gathered slowly everyone was curious. Murmurs here and there and some pretty sarcastic remarks were dismissed. “Settle down please! Settle down.” Demanded our fearless leader. Just then everyone gasped at the sight of a mystery guest striding towards them. Who could this be? Jan looked at George and George shrugged. “Ladies and Gentlemen! Please settle down.” The man was tall and lanky, all dressed in black. He had a monkey on his back. His face was painted with black and white stripes. “A rather unusual man” whispered George to Jan. “Unusual is putting it mildly” added Jan as she grasped his hand. I kind of like this guy, mused George, as he tightened his grip.

“OK, here’s the happy surprise!” This fine gentleman will be our host for this evening’s proceedings. “We are having a Murder Mystery Night tonight! The room gasped. I expect all of you to participate. No excuses allowed. We will be passing out your character descriptions and a general scenario for the evening. We will begin at precisely 7 p.m., at which time a formal dinner will be served on the auditorium stage. Any questions?” He acted like he was merely announcing an upcoming recess, George pondered. “What should I wear?” A despondent Jerry cried from the back. “How long will this thing last?” from another. Carl almost fainted he looked so white. Questions flew! Suddenly the Monkey got excited and started screeching. Jan’s grip got tighter as she slid closer to him. George’s mind then started to wander but quickly came to, when the man in black threw up his massive arms and waved his cape into the air. Silence suddenly prevailed. “Well! If you’ll all now return to your classes, we can get on with our day. Your instructions will be disbursed accordingly. Should you need any assistance please proceed to the office.” Slowly the group disbursed. Jan’s hand slipped back to her side, as she calmed. George secretly stretched his fingers trying to get the circulation back. “What now?” Jan whispered, with a twinkle in her eyes. George shrugged his shoulders and said with a smile, “Just another day, but a whole lot better than the last.” “Shall we?”

©J.E.Goldie 2/08/2019

“I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there.” Leonard Cohen

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

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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

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

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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

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

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“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

 

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

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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

 

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

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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

 

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The Extraordinary Glenn Gould

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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.

 

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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

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The Irrepressable, Irascible and Irreplaceable Nellie McLung

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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

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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

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*Thankyou Nellie*

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Ship of Fools

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SHIP OF FOOLS was released July 25th, 1965. For me it is one of the most hauntingly brilliant movies of our time. It is filled with tender love stories, lost hope, lost love, crueltry, hate and bigotry. It is stacked with brilliant Actors, giving brilliant performances via an amazing script and book by Katharine Anne Porter and Abby Mann. It’s tone is set by wonderful soundtrack written by Ernest Gold and directed by Stanley Kramer. One would conclude from this that I am totally enthrawlled with this movie. Yes.It is electrically charged with diverse characters who suspend our belief by the “Wink of an eye.” I first saw it on a Valentine’s date with Bobby Bates. It was one half of a double feature. I think he liked the other half which was The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Ah Well! “Boys will be boys.” On that note I will now quote some notes, present some photos, quote some quotes and leave you to watch some video clips. @J.E.Goldie

Ship of Fools is a 1965 drama film directed by Stanley Kramer, which recounts the stories of several passengers aboard an ocean liner bound to Germany from Mexico in 1933. It stars Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer and Lee Marvin. It also marked Christiane Schmidtmer’s first U.S. production. Ship of Fools was highly regarded, with reviewers praising the cast’s performance but also noted the movie’s overlong runtime. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1966. -Wikipedia-

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The characters board a German ocean liner in Veracruz, Mexico, for a voyage to Germany, along with 600 displaced workers in steerage, being deported from Cuba back to Spain, and a not-so-exotic band of entertainers, for whom the voyage is just a job.

The ship’s doctor, Schumann, takes a special interest in La Condesa, a countess from Cuba who has an addiction to drugs and is being shipped to a Spanish-run prison. Her sense of certain doom is contrasted by the doctor’s determination to fight the forces of oppression, embodied by his insistence that the people in steerage be treated like human beings rather than animals. The doctor himself has a secret, a terminal heart condition, and his sympathy for the countess soon evolves into love.

Several passengers are invited to dine each night at the captain’s table. There, some are amused and others offended by the anti-Semitic rants of a German businessman named Rieber who – although married – is beginning an on-board affair with Lizzi, a busty blonde. The Jewish Lowenthal is invited instead to join a dwarf named Glocken for his meals, and the two bond over their exclusion: the character Glocken sometimes speaks to the audience, more often at the beginning and the end of this film. Eventually a passenger named Freytag seems shocked to find himself ostracized when Rieber learns that his wife is Jewish.

Others aboard include a young American couple, David and Jenny, who bicker because David is unhappy at his lack of success with painting. A divorcée, Mary Treadwell, drinks and flirts, on a quest to recapture her youth in Paris. Bill Tenny is a former baseball player disappointed in the way his career never quite took off. They are distracted by the music and the professional dancers, whose flirtations seem to skirt the edges of solicitation.

The ship stops in Spain where the displaced workers and La Condesa disembark. The doctor dies before the ship reaches Germany. Upon the arrival in Germany, everyone leaves the ship, but the Nazis have taken over.

Addressing the audience, Glocken asks how important the appearance of the Nazis are to him and the others, to which he says the word “Nothing”. -IMdB-

QUOTES: IMdB

Mary Treadwell: Everybody on this ship is in love. Love me whether or not I love you. Love me whether I am fit to love. Love me whether I am able to love. Even is there is no such thing as love. Love me.

La Condesa:To think, isn’t it wonderful: two strangers on a ship – we will never meet again. We can talk – we can talk like friends, or even lovers… we can talk like two people who meet on the other side of the grave. Wilhelm Schumann: Keep talking.

[walks up to the ship’s railing] My name is Karl Glocken, and this is a ship of fools. I’m a fool, and you’ll meet more fools as we go along. This tub is packed with them: emancipated ladies, ball players, lovers, dog lovers, ladies of joy, tolerant Jews, dwarfs – all kinds. And who knows, if you look closely enough, you may even find yourself on board.

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Hopefully I have given you enough encouragement to further investigate this film.  If not you may have been entertained a little.

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Colleen Rose Dewhurst – The Quintessential Marilla

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June 3, 1924 – August 22, 1991

Colleen Dewhurst was born in Montreal, Quebéc. From all accounts she had and maintained duo citizenship. As a child in Montreal she was introduced to the tales of Anne Shirley and Lucy Maude Montgomery by her mother. Tales of a strong willed child, wise beyond her years. “It’s not what the world holds for you, its what you bring to it.” As a child Ms. Dewhurst was equally strong willed. She knew what she didn’t want and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. From watching several interviews in seems to me her experiences in life and her talent as a performer put her right into Marilla’s shoes. It didn’t hurt that she’d bought a home in Prince Edward Island, fell in love with it and rediscovered Anne almost simutaneously with Kevin Sullivan’s plan to produce Anne Of Green Gables. “It was destiny spoke.” Life takes us on many journeys and sometimes we can call the destination home. @J.E.Goldie 1/20/2019

 

 

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Colleen Rose Dewhurst was born on June 3, 1924, in Montreal, Quebec. The only child of Fred and Frances Dewhurst, she spent her first two years chronically ill and was dragged by her mother to dozens of doctors, both accredited and dubious. The resulting emotional trauma drove Frances Dewhurst to embrace Christian Science and reject medicine entirely. 

Never able to call any one place home for any length of time, the young Colleen Dewhurst was an energetic but socially awkward teenager, more comfortable playing baseball and tackle football with boys than assimilating with girls. Compensating for her shyness by becoming class clown, Dewhurst was coaxed into a regional oratory competition by one of her teachers at Riverside High School and later was cast in a school production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Humiliated onstage by a wardrobe malfunction that drew guffaws from the audience, Dewhurst harbored no dreams of becoming an actress, preferring the notion of being an aviatrix. While a student at Milwaukee-Downer College, she accompanied a classmate on a weekend trip to Chicago, IL where she saw a try-out performance of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” prior to its 1945 Broadway premiere. The experience awakened in Dewhurst the desire to become an actress and led to her transfer to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Following her divorce from George C. Scott, Dewhurst entered into a long-term relationship with Broadway producer Ken Marsolais. The pair maintained a second home in Canada, where Dewhurst performed in a number of feature films and television miniseries. She was memorable in a brief turn as the lethally protective mother of a serial killer in David Cronenberg’s “The Dead Zone” (1983), but won the hearts of younger viewers as the flinty but nurturing Marilla Cuthbert in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Anne of Green Gables” (1985) and its sequel “Anne of Avonlea” (1987). The telefilms were a popular sensation in Canada, emptying the streets on the nights of their network premieres. Dewhurst would be paired once more with young co-star Megan Follows in “Termini Station” (1989) and reprised the role of Marilla Cuthbert in three episodes of the long-running CBC series “The Road to Avonlea” (1989-1996). 

In 1989, Dewhurst was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Friends close to the actress would later maintain that Dewhurst’s refusal to undergo invasive surgery to remove the cancer had as much to do with her innate modesty as with her deeply-felt belief in the healing powers of Christian Science. One of her last film roles was opposite son Campbell Scott, cast by director Joel Schumacher as a terminally ill leukemia patient who romances caretaker Julia Roberts in “Dying Young” (1991). Dressed in cowboy denims and a weather-beaten Stetson, Dewhurst contributed the supporting role of a Mendocino local who looks after the unlikely couple as they undertake a road trip toward denial. Dewhurst succumbed to her cancer two months after the film’s June opening, dying at her Salem, NY home on Aug. 22, 1991. A month later, George C. Scott dedicated his revival of the Paul Osborn play “On Borrowed Time” at Circle in the Square to her memory. Filled out with the reminiscences of friends and colleagues, Dewhurst’s incomplete autobiography was published in 1999.

By Richard Harland Smith

She was president of the Actors’ Equity Association from 1985 until her death.

Dewhurst won a total of two Tony Awards and four Emmy Awards for her stage and television work.

“Colleen looked like a warrior, so people assumed she was the earth mother. But in real life Colleen was not to be let out without a keeper. She couldn’t stop herself from taking care of people, which she then did with more care than she took care of herself. Her generosity of spirit was overwhelming and her smile so dazzling that you couldn’t pull the f_-kng reins in on her even if you desperately wanted to and knew damn well that somebody should.” – Maureen Stapleton

“She’s like an earth mother, but in real life she’s not to be let out without a keeper. She’s a pushover, a pussycat. She’s the madonna of the birds with broken wings.” –Maureen Stapleton, quoted in The New York Times obituary, August 24, 1991.

Dewhurst died of cervical cancer, age 67, at her South Salem home in 1991. She was cremated and her ashes were given to family and friends; no public service was planned.

The song is Love That Let’s Go

There’s a gold frame that sits by the window
And my heart breaks a little more each time I try
To picture the memory inside

There’s an old book that’s too hard to read it
But if you look you’d see how you look through my eyes
But now one more chapter’s gone by, and I know

It’s time to move on and even though I’m not ready
I’ve got to be strong and trust where you’re heading
Even though it’s not easy
Right now the right kind of love
Is a love that lets go,

There’s an old dance that we’ve done forever
You give me your hand but let decide when to reach
You always let me be me
But now’s my time to take chances
And find my own wings
And whatever happens I know you’ll be there waiting for me

It’s time to move on and even though I’m not ready
I’ve got to be strong and trust where I’m heading
Even though it’s not easy
I know the right kind of love
Doesn’t wanna miss the future
By staying in the past
It will always hold on, but never hold you back
And even though it’s not easy (it’s not easy)
Right now the right kind of love
Is a love that lets go,

It’s time that I let you
With a love that lets go

Songwriters: ADAM EINAR ANDERS,NIKKI HASSMAN

 

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Terry Fox – A reluctant hero – “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

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July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981

Terry Fox was just a normal Canadian kid who had misfortune thrust upon him. It’s what he did in reaction to his fate that make him a Hero. As you’ll discover through the information and videos below, he had an inner strength far beyond his years. I had no recourse but to bring his story to those who may not have heard of Terry Fox. I must admit I was extremely moved as I watched, even though I knew his story. Fortunately his story lives on through those who carry on with his dream. -J.E.Goldie

At the age of only eighteen, Fox, a good athlete, was diagnosed with cancer and as a result his right leg had to be amputated. Instead of getting bogged down, he became mentally stronger and retained his positivity even with an artificial leg.

Soon, Fox formulated an ambitious plan of epic proportions wherein he wanted to traverse the entire length of Canada on foot to accomplish the dual purpose of raising funds for cancer research, and inspiring people with disabilities. Running over 43 kilometres each day, he travelled through Canada, spreading his message everywhere. In a short time, he acquired celebrity status and succeeded in securing sizeable donations. At the height of his popularity, his recurring cancer put an abrupt end to his marathon, subsequently leading to his untimely death. However, Fox had accomplished far more than what he had hoped for, not only collecting enough funds, but also making a statement that epitomized the strength of human spirit.-FamousPeople-

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  • In 1980, he was bestowed with the honour of ‘Companion of the Order of Canada’ and became the youngest person to receive this honour.

  • He won the ‘Lou Marsh Award’ in 1980 as Canada’s top sportsman for that year.

  • He was chosen ‘Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year’ for 1980, and again for the next year. 

  • He breathed his last on June 28, 1981 after falling into a coma. Wikipedia

 

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The remarkably humble Canadian Leonard Cohen…

 

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Sep 21, 1934 – Nov 7, 2016 (age 82)

As I watched the video interviews I gathered of Leonard Cohen, I began to realize that the Man seemed detached from his seemingly solemn writing. When asked where these feelings/ideas/emotions came from he was somewhat evasive. His attachment to his work was fleeting. It was written and left behind. A polite Canadian boy, it seems, not willing to share the origins of the dark thoughts he sometimes wrote about. He said he found writing to be a slow process and he  lacked the ability to readily express his thoughts. When you’re Cohen this isn’t a bad thing. When asked why he became a Monk, he said he needed guidance/direction at the time and his friend/teacher was a Monk. He then laughingly said, that if his friend had been anything, he’d have followed. His interviews are charming, polite and somewhat apologetic. The warm smiles and frequent silences between his answers make him Leonard Cohen. These are only my thoughts. Perhaps you’ll disagree. -J.E.Goldie-

“Leonard Cohen was a Canadian singer, songwriter, and novelist remembered for his literary works and his musical creations alike. Beginning his career as a poet and novelist, he eventually ventured into music when he was in his thirties. Interested in poetry from his school days, he started composing poems as a young boy. He also learnt guitar and had an affinity for folk music. His interest in music and guitar was further enhanced when he met a flamenco guitarist. Simultaneously, he pursued his literary works and penned many poems and even got them published in magazines. Soon he published a collection of poems entitled ‘The Spice-Box of Earth’ which got him recognized in the literary world. He then explored his creativity in writing fictional stories and eventually wrote novels which received appreciation from critics and readers alike. This writer then embarked on a new journey and dabbled with his musical creativity and emerged as a singer and songwriter. He worked on various themes like relationships, sexuality, politics and religion and composed songs which turned out brilliantly and also established Cohen’s place in the musical world. However, this versatile individual did not forgo his literary work and concurrently worked on literature and music, earning fame in all the fields he embarked on.”

-TheFamousPeople-

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Leonard Norman Cohen CC GOQ was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality and romantic relationships. Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize. -Wikipedia-

Some quotes 

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

“We are not mad. We are human. We want to love, and someone must forgive us for the paths we take to love, for the paths are many and dark, and we are ardent and cruel in our journey.”

“I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

“I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there.”

“May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.”

 

 

 

I loved you for a long, long time
I know this love is real
It don’t matter how it all went wrong
That don’t change the way I feel
And I can’t believe that time’s
Gonna heal this wound I’m speaking of
There ain’t no cure for love

-Leonard Cohen-

 

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The Sable Island Horses of Nova Scotia

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The Sable Island Horses of Nova Scotia, Canada

“The Sable Island horse, sometimes referred to as the Sable Island pony, is a type of small feral horse found on Sable Island, an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a small type, often pony sized, but with a horse phenotype and horse ancestors, and usually dark in colour. The first horses were released on the island in the late eighteenth century, and soon became feral. Additional horses were later transported to improve the herd’s breeding stock. They were rounded up for private use and sale for slaughter, which by the 1950s had placed them in danger of extinction.” -Wikipedia-

Sable Island derived its name from the French word for “sand”. It lacks natural trees, being covered instead with marram grass and other low-growing vegetation. In 1901, the federal government planted over 80,000 trees in an attempt to stabilize the soil; all died. Subsequent plantings resulted in the survival of a single Scots Pine. Although planted in the 1960s, it is only a few feet tall.

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The island is home to over 550 free-roaming horses, protected by law from human interference. This feral horse population is likely descended from horses confiscated from Acadians during the Great Expulsion and left on the island by Thomas Hancock, Boston merchant and uncle of John Hancock. In 1879, 500 horses and cattle were estimated to live on the island, and the island vegetation was described as covered with grass and wild peas. In the past, excess horses were rounded up, shipped off the island, and sold, many used in coal mines on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. In 1960, the Canadian Government, under the Canada Shipping Act, gave the horse population full protection from human interference. -Wikipedia-

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Shipwreck survivors published early survival narratives about their experiences at Sable Island, beginning with the sinking of the Delight in 1583. The first formal history of the island, Sable Island: its History and Phenomena, was written in 1894 by George Patterson. Many other histories of the island and its shipwrecks have been published since, such as Lyall Campbell’s two books – Sable Island, Fatal and Fertile Crescent in 1974 and Sable Island Shipwrecks: Disaster and Survival at the North Atlantic Graveyard in 1994 –Wikipedia-

Sable Island is a narrow, crescent-shaped sandbar with a surface area of about 34 km2 (13 sq mi). Despite being nearly 42 km (26 mi) long, it is only 1.5 km (0.93 mi) across at its widest point. It emerges from vast shoals and shallows on the continental shelf, which, in tandem with the area’s frequent fog and sudden strong storms including hurricanes and nor easters, have caused over 350 recorded shipwrecks.

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Lucy Maud Montgomery – One of Canada’s most cherished authors

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Born  November 30, 1874 Clifton, Prince Edward Island

Died  April 24, 1942 (aged 67) Toronto, Ontario

Lucy Maud Montgomery is best known for her ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series. I have put together a little timeline. Although she was best known for her ANNE series of books, she wrote numerous short stories and poetry as well. Once again my intention is not to analyze her work nor will I give you a complete history. As happens sometimes with very passionate writers, it was fabled that she took her own life. That fact, I will leave with you to discover. Below you will find some examples of her poetry and ANNE OF GREEN GABLE clips. -J.E.Goldie

 

“Shortly after giving birth Maud’s mother was stricken with tuberculosis. As her condition worsened Hugh John moved the family back to Cavendish, to the home of his in-laws where his mother-in-law could help tend his wife and child. The Macneill’s ran the local post office out of their house and helped care for their sick daughter and infant child. Clara succumbed to the illness on September 14, 1876 at the age of twenty-three, Maud was not yet two years old. Year’s later Maud would speak of remembering her mother’s wake and how she reached down and felt the coldness of her mother’s cheek.” 

“After his wife died, Hugh John sold his business and spent most of his time traveling. In 1884 he moved to Saskatchewan, leaving ten-year old Maud in the care of her grandparents, Lucy and Alexander Macneill. Hugh John married Mary Anne McCrae in 1887 when Maud was thirteen. Growing up under an atmosphere of strict rules and discipline by her elderly grandparents, Maud became an avid reader and began to write.”

“In 1889, at the age of fifteen Maud went to live with her father, stepmother and their two small children. It was a hard time for Maude, a new home, unable to get along with her new stepmother and giving up her schooling in order to care for her new siblings. It was during this time in Saskatchewan that she sent a poem to the Daily Patriot, a local newspaper. Her first published piece was On Cape Le Force . After a year with her father, homesickness caused Maud to return to Prince Edward Island and her grandparents.” 

 

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“Two years later, after the death of her grandmother in March, Maud was married to Reverend Ewen MacDonald on June 11, 1911, they had three children: Chester (1912), Hugh (stillborn in 1914), and Stuart (1915). Even though she was now successful with her writing, this did not mean an easy life for Maud. She was devastated over the death of her stillborn son, battles with her publishing company due to their withholding of royalties and reprint rights. Her husband suffered from mental relapse and had bouts of melancholia, which forced him to leave the ministry in 1935. During the late 1930’s Maud suffered a mental breakdown and remained despondent until her death.”

“Lucy Maud Montgomery MacDonald died in Toronto, Ontario, on April 24, 1942, at the age of sixty-eight. In death, she was able to return to her beloved Prince Edward Island, buried in the Cavendish cemetery.” 

“In addition to the well-known Anne of Green Gables and its six sequels, she produced more than twenty novels and short stories. Montgomery published only one volume of collected poems, The Watchman and Other Poems , in 1916. She also produced three of the miniature biographies in a volume called Courageous Women (1934). At her death she was working on another Anne book, which was much altered and published by her son as a collection of short stories called The Road to Yesterday (1974). She produced some one million words in her private journals, between 1889 and 1942, and requested in her will that these journals be preserved and published. Publication began on these in 1985.”Famous Poets and Poems- 

“No character inhabits the first half of 20th-century Canadian literature more inexorably than Anne Shirley, she of the carroty hair and the exorbitant imagination. Anne occupies what can only be called the sweet spot in Canadian literature, haloed and honoured, our very own benign monster.

Her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery, demands almost as much literary attention. Montgomery is that hybrid Canadian writer: orphan and schoolteacher, minister’s wife and prolific scribbler. Herself a fascinating character, she is peculiarly associated, in my mind, anyway, with unhappy Mrs. Bentley of Sinclair Ross’s As for Me and My House. Her sudden death caused speculation about suicide, and she certainly didn’t have much fun with her often-depressed husband, Ewan Macdonald. But she wrote her fingers to the bone. The author of more than 500 short stories, 20 novels and innumerable articles and poems, she is also the inventor of a community zeitgeist that has turned the house that inspired Green Gables into a historic site and made Anne the global subject of musicals and plays, films and postage stamps and pigtailed wigs.”

-The Globe and Mail-

 

 

 

Come, Rest Awhile 

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Come, rest awhile, and let us idly stray 
In glimmering valleys, cool and far away. 

Come from the greedy mart, the troubled street, 
And listen to the music, faint and sweet, 

That echoes ever to a listening ear, 
Unheard by those who will not pause to hear­ 

The wayward chimes of memory’s pensive bells, 
Wind-blown o’er misty hills and curtained dells. 

One step aside and dewy buds unclose 
The sweetness of the violet and the rose; 

Song and romance still linger in the green, 
Emblossomed ways by you so seldom seen, 

And near at hand, would you but see them, lie 
All lovely things beloved in days gone by. 

You have forgotten what it is to smile 
In your too busy life ­come, rest awhile.

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