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.
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.
“There’s a ski trail in our back fields – the snow is quite deep in places and it looks like this little ‘porkie’ came out of the woods to check out the trail . It then turned around and headed back into the woods. The tracks were made by a porcupine. We googled them as we hadn’t seen this before. Once we had another porcupine in our front field and it was as big as a bear cub.” – Sharon Smith, Amherst Head, Nova Scotia
<Spot Bernie on the CN Tower, Toronto’s icon. “He’ll need those mittens. It’s cold up there.” @Paulintoronto47><Bernie is leading the charge for 2021’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF); Mittens are needed here too.@MsFilmLibrarian><Ruth Buzzi and Bernie again are sharing a park bench, for those who remember ‘Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In’ on NBC in the 1960’s.><Cartoon from AISLIN (Terry Mosher), The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec>
“I’LL BE BACK WITH MORE ‘torontosavvy’ in January/2021>
Few of us have that kind of background, whose sales are concentrated in about six weeks just before Christmas.JOEL ROBERTS POINSETT is the name-sake for North America’s bestselling potted plant, which is a native of Central America, and known as the ‘Easter Flower’ in Cuba and Spain. Poinsett himself travelled across Europe, Russia and Latin America, eventually becoming the US Ambassador to Mexico. Mexicans were not exactly fond of him, which may explain why a Mexican lizard was given his name. The day he died, December 12th, is also known as National Poinsettia Day.<PHOTO ABOVE – Allan Gardens, Toronto>
Top spot on the Globe’s front cover, GRACIE, lives with long-term care nurse, Bridget Hudson and her husband. “We can’t imagine life without her now,” Ms. Hudson says of the bernedoodle.In the article ERIN ADERSSEN writes: “The past few months were a boom time for pet adoptions as Canadians sought Covid-19-Safe companions to share their isolation. New owners say it was a good decision in a very bad time.” . . . . . Above – photographer Kailee Mandel embraces her own pandemic dog, WALTER . . . . . The late college professor, MARY OLIVER, wrote a poem capturing this pandemic we’re all going through . . . . .
“But there are days I wish
there was less in my head to examine,
not to speak of the busy heart.
How would it be to be Percy, I wonder, not
thinking, not weighing anything, just running forward.”
It’s often worthwhile and great fun to scrutinize lists such as ‘The Top Ten Best Countries for a Stress-Free Retirement”. CANADA comes in at #8, just ahead of The Netherlands. Sixty and Me is a community of 500,000 women over the age of 60. The goal is to help them live happy, healthy and financially secure lives, to find profitable work, stay healthy and develop a positive mindset about this “amazing period of their lives”.”WRITEUP . . . . #8 CANADA (edited version) – “If you’re looking for somewhere spacious, look no further than the world’s second-largest country. With just 4 people per square kilometre, you’ll have plenty of space to yourself. Canada has also ranked highly for moral and political freedom, but was the lowest-ranking country in the top 10 when it comes to traffic. If you’re looking for a more secluded retirement that takes you off the beaten track, you might find the peace and tranquility you’re searching for in Canada.”* CANADA IS BEST FOR – wide open spaces . . . * NOT SUITED FOR – getting from A to B quickly . . . . . . . . The Top Ten – #1 Finland; #2 Spain; #3 Austria; #4 Brunel; #5 Slovenia; #6 Japan; #7 Portugal; #8 Canada; #9 The Netherlands; #10 Sweden.