PETER SMITH, MY BROTHER-IN-LAW WHO LIVES IN NOVA SCOTIA, CELEBRATED HIS BIRTHDAY IN “THE WOODS”

Peter welcomed our extended family who made themselves comfortable in the woods. They’re allowed 20 people to gather outdoors, so family members could legally enter the woods to roast hot dogs over a fire pit.  Everyone enjoyed doing that. My sister, Sharon, identified all 16 of them, the closest I’ve been with my family in person for some time now. I’ve been looking forward to visiting them soon. Meanwhile for fun, here’s who in the picture.
Starting left from the red chair – Heidi, Naomi, Mark, Phoebe and Ian behind Mark, Charlie, Luke, Dave (Peter’s brother), Peter himself (in the red jacket), Andrea with Caroline on her knee; Sharon herself (blue cap), Jordan, Vanessa, Greg and then back to the empty chair.  Isaiah was the photographer, hence the empty chair.  The trucks belong to Mark and Greg, Fortunately the weather was quite fine. I thank my sister, Sharon and Isaiah for this photo, and a very Happy Birthday, Peter!

A CAR STUCK IN OUR STREET – TWO SHOVELS IN OUR GARAGE – DUST PANS ONLY WAY TO REACH THEM

We had to manage both getting out of the house, and then in through the garage door to access those shovels. And for that the dust pans were most helpful. Once outside we went to work, first using the dust pans, and then sweeping and shoveling. And it’s snowing again! <Photos by Ross Winter>

NATURE’S PERFECT NEST DESIGN – MADE BY BEES, HORNETS . . . . OR WASPS? PHOTO – BRYAN BLENKIN

Bryan says the photo above is “Nature’s Perfect Design.” Yes, they’re good at making nests, but be careful with stinging insects. We’re not sure what stung Bryan yesterday morning during a trip to The Toronto Dump. The trip was fine at first, but then he discovered an insect on the car seat, and picked it up. The insect stung him, and Bryan tossed it out the window. Not certain what it was exactly. . . . . .  I got stung a couple of weeks earlier at College Park on my upper lip, by what I believe was a hornet. That sting took about three weeks to subside.

IN HIS 30’S MATT GREEN SETS GOALS FOR HIMSELF, LIKE WALKING ACROSS THE UNITED STATES

Traveling on his own two legs Matt walked across the United States from Rockaway Beach New York to Rockaway Beach, Oregon some years ago.  The latest quest for this ex-civil engineer, was to get off his duff, give up his apartment, get rid of most possessions, and walk every block and street in New York City. He now couch-surfs across the boroughs and lives on about $15 a day – no small challenge in the Big Apple. “At its core, my walk is an oxymoron: an exhaustive journey through an inexhaustible city. Instead of seeing a million places for just a minute each, I’m going to spend a million minutes exploring just one place.” – says MATT GREEN. He is also a better-than-average photographer, and has an eye for New York’s idiosyncrasies, both its beauty and ugliness, curiosities and national landmarks.

‘NASH THE SLASH’ (1948-2014) IS NO LONGER WITH US, BUT HE SURE MADE HIS MARK

JEFF PLEWMAN made quite the impression when dressed up as his alter-ego, ‘Nash The Slash’ – a Toronto eccentric if there ever was one.  A multi-instrumentalist, Jeff could play the electric violin, mandolin, harmonica, keyboards and the glockenspiel. But, like many baby boomers, he decided after 40 years enough was enough. He took off the surgical tape, shut down his official website, thanked his loyal fans, and bid them adieu. Jeff passed away at the fairly young age of 66. Among other things he founded one of Canada’s first independent labels (Cut-Throat Records), was one of the first to use a drum machine on an album, and sued Pepsi-Cola for stealing his image. He created a complex blend of new wave, New Age and punk rock in the 1970’s. He also composed soundtracks for silent films and collaborated with painter Robert Vanderhost on a series fusing surrealistic visuals with classic music stylings.  Jeff came out as a gay man in 1998.  He was indeed one-of-a-kind.

BROADCASTER & PILOT, BILL MCVEAN. AFTER 26 YRS. WITH CFRB-AM, HAS PASSED AWAY

Bill McVean in this photo from Toronto Public Library, was a multi-talented, hard working radio personality on 50,000-watt CFRB-AM, Toronto. He died on Sunday, March 21/2021 at the age of 95. His career began at Ontario’s most powerful AM station in 1960, preceded by CKNX in Wingham, CKOC and CHML in Hamilton – all in Ontario; and did some work for CBC television and commercials. Bill, while on-air at CKOC, Hamilton became the first person in the world to deliver aerial traffic radio reports, while piloting a plane at the same time. His first brush with death came at a North Bay Air Show when his plane suddenly failed and he crash-landed, destroying both himself and the aircraft. During his six months in a hospital bed Bill kept on doing a live radio show for CFRB.Then came more than 20 years when he was the man in charge of the Canadian International (CNE) Air Show. After working there as the announcer/emcee, he went on to be Director and a member of the CNE Board. There’s so much more, all-in-all an outstanding career and a significant life – a real loss for those who appreciate Canadian radio broadcasting and CFRB-AM.

REMEMBERING CHARLES THOMAS CONNORS, AN ALL-CANADIAN PATRIOT WHO LEFT US IN 2013

He’s gone now – but the legendary STOMPIN’ TOM CONNORS left behind 61 albums of Canadiana folk hits to remember him by.  What red-blooded Canadian hasn’t heard Bud The Spud, Sudbury Saturday Night, Canada Day, Up Canada Way – and his all-time gift to the National Hockey League – The Hockey Song.  Stompin’ Tom received the Order of Canada in 1996, and was put on a postage stamp in 2009. Stompin’ Tom was married to LENA WELSH on November 2, 1973.  The wedding was shown live on Elwood Glover’s CBC television show, followed by lunch, a screening of Connors’ concert film, and a party for 600.Born in SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick, he was adopted by a family in SKINNERS POND, Prince Edward Island, and lived there until he was fifteen – <PHOTO – Dorothy Steward> Stompin’ Tom was a regular performer at TORONTO’s Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street West.