Baby, The Rain Must Fall: Remembering Glenn Yarbrough

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The singer Glenn Yarbrough died in August at the age of eighty-six after suffering from dementia for years. His voice and his songs were such a pivotal influence on my adolescence, I can’t imagine how I missed the news of his death, but miss it I did.

When I think back now, it amazes me that a group of teenaged guys sitting around late at night so avidly embraced his songs. While everyone else favored groups such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Mamas and the Papas, we listened to Glenn singing songs like “Stanyan Street Revisited,” “The Warm and Gentle Girls,” “The World I Used to Know,” “Rose,” “Lonesome,” and his only top-twenty hit, “Baby the Rain Must Fall” (from the Steve McQueen-Lee Remick movie).

A high tenor voice infused with angst and longing, a gentle poet singing of loves that slipped away, ambitions that went unrealized, illusions shattered, wanderers constantly moving on, and loneliness. We would later encounter all those things in our lives, but at the time we really hadn’t had to deal with any of it, except maybe the loneliness.

Perhaps that was the essence of his appeal for us. I certainly felt alone and cut off back then, locked away in a small town along the St. Lawrence River. I’m not sure any of us realized it, but in a way those songs prepped us for the future, sending out signals, warning of what was to come in life, the messages embedded in a bittersweet romanticism that I soaked up.

His voice echoed constantly through our apartment over the bank my father managed on King Street West, so much so that even my brother Ric, not ordinarily obsessed with thoughts of love and loneliness, became addicted.

Recently my niece Lindsay married. Ric arranged a surprise dance with his daughter as Glenn sang “Rose,” a somewhat soppy ballad, I must admit, that my poor niece and nephew grew up listening to. It contains the refrain: “That’s okay, Rose would say, don’t you worry none. We’ll have good times, by and by, next fall when the work’s all done.”

The Bases sang along lustily, memories and tears flowing. Everyone else thought we were nuts. And we were. Just a little.

Born in Milwaukee but raised in New York City, Glenn first gained notoriety as a member of the Limelighters folk group (a college appearance by Woody Guthrie was an inspiration). He never strayed far from his folk roots after he left the group and struck out on his own. He was particularly adept at interpreting the songs and poetry of Rod McKuen with whom he collaborated often over the years.

I met Glenn when he came to Ottawa to do a concert. I persuaded the entertainment editor at the now defunct Ottawa Journal to let me do a story on him. I doubt the editor knew who I was talking about, but nonetheless he agreed to run an interview.

I hurried over to where Glenn was performing on a double bill with the Everly Brothers. Don and Phil came on first. Most of the crowd was there to see them. Unfortunately, they were not there to see Glenn.

The audience remained polite enough through the first few songs in his set, but as it became apparent Glenn Yarbrough was a long way from the Everlys, the booing started. I couldn’t believe it. Those songs meant a lot to an eighteen-year-old kid, how could these people not be swept away? But they weren’t.

To his credit, when I saw him backstage, Glenn took the hostility more or less in stride. “They came to see Don and Phil,” he said. “It probably wasn’t a good idea to put me on the same bill with them.”

A small, stocky man with short-cropped hair and a round, boyish face, Glenn stood for most of our time together, moving his arms restlessly around, snapping his fingers, courteous enough, but a bit remote—or maybe he was more shaken by his encounter with the Ottawa crowd than he was willing to admit.

That night also marked one of the first times I heard anyone angrily criticize the war in Vietnam. This seems extraordinarily naïve today, but in 1967 the anti-war sentiment that soon roiled the United States had yet to take hold. At least it had not gotten through to me. Until I met Glenn, I pretty much bought the Time magazine view that the war was necessary in order to stop the communists from taking over the world.

After that, I went on with my life, experiencing firsthand many of the things I previously had only heard Glenn sing about: loves and losses, disappointments and disillusion, all those beautiful strangers who came along and then were gone.

Glenn faded into the background.

37677-4285681But then years later, now working at the Toronto Star, I came into the newsroom one afternoon and there, standing at the reception desk, was a bearded Glenn Yarbrough.

I went over and introduced myself. He shook my hand, friendly, but as he was the first time we met, somewhat remote. He said he had become a lot more interested in sailing around the world and helping others than he was in performing. Now he only sang on occasion so he could pay the bills.

I accompanied him to the photo studio where he was getting his picture taken for something or other. Later, as he came back through the newsroom, he waved and I went over and walked him out. As we said goodbye, I tried to tell him how I admired him, and how much his music had helped me get through lonely adolescent nights.

Then he was gone and the next thing I heard about him was the belated news of his death. So as I sit writing this, I am listening to that warm tenor voice reciting the words that have stuck with me for a lifetime:

“Alas the nights so blue and bright, have wandered into dawn, and all the warm and gentle girls have come along and gone. . .”

Ah, but one of them stayed Glenn, the warmest and gentlest. You got it just about right.

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The End of Movies?

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Cary Grant was a made-up character according to—Cary Grant.

“I’m playing a part,” he told interviewer Jim Bawden. “It’s a part I’ve been playing for a long time, but no way am I really Cary Grant.”

Gloria Swanson said Billy Wilder approached Mary Pickford and Greta Garbo before he finally cast her as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Roy Rogers admitted he had no idea how to act when he started in movies. Cast as a villain in his first picture, all he could think to do was frown.

Van Johnson remembered the day Clark Gable, MGM’s top box office star for many years, left the studio. “He was considered too expensive at $6,000 a week…(I) watched from an upstairs window as Gable drove his convertible right around that loop. Then he stood up and saluted and drove away and with him went the studio’s glory.”

512wncbs7vl1These and dozens of other anecdotes and memories of a bygone age fill Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood’s Golden Era by Jim Bawden and Ron Miller. The book, published by the University Press of Kentucky, gleaned from interviews both authors conducted with various stars over the years, is at once a delicious wallow in nostalgia and a sad reminder that movies no longer matter the way they used to.

I devoured Conversations with Classic Film Stars as the movie summer of 2016 wound down, leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and Hollywood wondering if there was any future at all in the wake of the failure of so many blockbuster behemoths.

“Cinema Is Dead?” asked a recent New York Times headline, before hurrying to reassure that maybe it isn’t—maybe.

Now that September is upon us accompanied by the arrival of the Toronto International Film Festival, the start of awards season, and a clutch of films that don’t rely on special effects or comic book heroes in tights, there is a burst of optimism. Yet a shadow hangs over film; if the movies are not dead or dying, they are at least unhealthy and possibly on life support.

Wired magazine in its critical appraisal of this past summer’s offerings concluded that this could well be “the worst. Year. Ever.”

Referring to the avalanche of mediocre box office duds littering your local Cineplex over the past four months, Wired critic Brian Raftery wrote: “These movies didn’t just fail; they almost seemed to never exist in the first place, having been dismissed or disposed of immediately upon impact.”

Certainly the glamor and excitement that used to accompany going to movies has, for me a least, long since slipped away. The slippage began in the 1980s when I was writing about film. Those of us who covered cinema could see that something was going seriously wrong. The high profile failures of Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull and Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate spelled the end of the autonomy many directors had enjoyed throughout the seventies and which produced what is generally regarded as the last great age of American cinema.heavens-gate1

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Hollywood studios, taken over by conglomerates, had begun to turn out mostly big, lumbering noisy industrial products that could appeal to everyone but in the end satisfied no one. As the years went on, things only got worse until now the studios have no interest in anything but expensive sequels, remakes, and animated features designed for family audiences. Most of the movies I grew up loving would never get made by a major studio today.

Even as I devoured movies, there was a great deal of talk about their death. The studio system that sustained Hollywood and nurtured and manufactured their stars through the 1930s and 1940s, was disappearing as theater attendance plummeted and television kept audiences at home.

Ironically, television is once again the culprit. This time, however, it’s because television, to the astonishment of a writer who used to write despairingly about the medium, has become the pop cultural touchstone of our time. Movies have been left in the dust of the dozens of special effects cities Hollywood blockbusters insist on destroying every summer.

Original writing, brilliant acting, cinematography that captures the light and shadow of contemporary life, all that is found on your home flat screen. Movies, on the other hand, have become impossibly difficult to produce and finance, and, worst of all, dull.

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As I exited the task of writing about film at the end of the 1980s, I reported that the cost of the average studio movie had doubled over the decade to twenty-three million dollars. I was shocked—shocked!—that a new Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi action movie, Total Recall, had cost an astronomical fifty-five million dollars.

I naively worried that “there was concern that even if the summer movies were hits, they could never make enough money to recoup their production and marketing costs.” I quoted one studio executive as saying, “What’s going on is insane.”

Ha. What little did he—or I—know of what was to come.

The latest X-Men installment was budgeted at over two hundred and fifty million dollars, and that’s not unusual in this surreal movie age.

Because pictures have become so expensive, the stakes so extraordinarily high, any signs of originality or unpredictability have been bled out by herds of writers and studio executives intent on making them palatable to the largest worldwide audience.

Ostensibly, it has been left to independently-financed films made outside the studio system, to provide the original and the unpredictable. But the independents, too, are often hobbled by a lack of the audacity that seems to come so naturally to television. The writing is better, the acting often superb, but everything independent appears to have to be based on a true story in order to get made. What the super hero movie is to summer, the true story has become to the fall.

Brian Raftery in Wired makes the point that it isn’t just television that has captured the cultural zeitgeist, it is unexpected phenomenon like Pokémon Go or the Broadway smash, Hamilton, that get everyone talking.

No one much talks about movies any more. Even so, no matter what they do to me, I can still be found most weekends at the multiplex with my popcorn and my optimism. I’m still yammering away about movies—these days extoling the many pleasures contained in Bawden and Miller’s delightful book about movie stars from another age who remind us of a time when movies really mattered.

 

You can purchase Conversations with  Classic Film Stars at Amazon. Please click…

HERE.

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A Desperate Author…A Controversial Book…A Midnight Escape…

You can order an autographed copy of The Escarpment, Ron Base’s gripping new mystery thriller, by CLICKING on the LINK below…

https://www.facebook.com/sanibelsunsetdetective/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

It will take you to Ron’s Facebook page. Once there, simply click on the SHOP NOW button the top of the page. You will receive a copy of the book, personally autographed by Ron…

Escarp front

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Five Years Later: Still Brian

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Looking through old photos stored on an auxiliary hard drive, I came across pictures of my old friend Brian Vallée when he and his partner Nancy Rahtz visited my wife, Kathy, and me at our home in Milton on a sunny summer weekend in early July 2010.

 I’d forgotten about that weekend and seeing those photos again of a happy, healthy-looking Brian was heart-wrenching. Less than a year later, he was terminally ill with cancer; little more than a year later, on July 22, 2011, he was gone. Looking at those photos today it is hard to believe this is a man with only a year left to live.

 On the fifth anniversary of his death, I thought I’d post some of the photographs from that Milton weekend, as well as repost the remembrance I wrote at the time of his death. Five years later those of us who knew him, loved him, and valued his friendship, still mourn him.

 Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Brian; he’s still here—in pictures, certainly in memory, and, on a day like today, in a lingering sense sadness.

 Rest well, BV. You are not forgotten…

Brian and Nancy Visit (July 3, 2010) 030

The digital readout on the phone said: “Vallée B.” In addition to everything else he’d accomplished, I told him, he had become a rap artist. He liked that idea.

When he called, I knew it was time for my daily dose of the Vallée B news: another old newspaper pal gone; a new piece of information unearthed for the Edwin Alonzo Boyd book; the trouble editing the Conrad Black biography; the endless frustrations with a publisher over his latest book.

I always got the chapter and the verse. More than I sometimes wanted to know. But that was okay. He was Brian, after all, Vallée B. We talked nearly every day for over forty-two years. I don’t think we ever exchanged an angry word. Lots of jokes and arguments and jibes. But no anger.

The 70-year-old more formally known as Brian Vallée was a great newspaperman, an award-winning broadcaster, and a best-selling author. But to me he was simply and inevitably, Vallée B, that reassuring humor-filled voice on the phone, my closest and dearest friend.

He got me married twice (the second time as best man), helped me through a divorce, ran interference with various girlfriends when I was single, and when no one else was interested, resurrected a publishing company he helped create, West-End Books, rolled up his sleeves and set about publishing my novel—an act of kindness and unwavering generosity that has quite literally changed my life.

It wasn’t just me, though. Brian was like that with everyone. If you needed help, Brian was there to provide it. He spent too much time trying to help everyone—dying pals, unemployed newsmen, frustrated writers, and wannabe journalists. Brian seldom said no to anyone.

He was handsome and charismatic, larger than life. Everyone he met just naturally gravitated to him. He was one of those people who existed in this special aura that acted as a magnet drawing in everyone he encountered.

With Brian (July 3, 2010) 040

I remember the moment I met him— lunchtime in 1969 at the Windsor Press Club. We were both reporters at the Windsor Star. I remember thinking he was somewhat shy and quiet. The next thing, I started hearing rumblings, stories from the late night front lines about this new guy Vallée. Not so quiet, as it turned out. Not so shy. A character.

He liked to play the piano late into the night. He did a little Johnny Cash and less Jerry Lee Lewis. He had a singular fault when it came to piano playing: he did not know a single tune. This, however, did not stop him. He played with ferocity and passion. So what if he didn’t quite know the whole song—or even half of it.

The amazing thing is, no one seemed to mind. Rapturous audiences would demand more. I used to wonder what they thought they were hearing. It wasn’t the music of course—there was no music—it was Brian. Everyone loved Brian.

But there was much more to him than his ability (as impressive as it was) to hold court around pianos. He also worked harder at his craft than just about anyone I ever knew. He took the business of journalism very seriously; the necessity to be accurate and true was paramount to him.

Brian and Nancy Visit (July 3, 2010) 025I don’t think he started out as a good writer, but he certainly finished up that way. The mellowing effect of the years, as well as his enduring relationship with his partner,Nancy Rahtz, provided him with a gravitas that opened the way to his finest work.

His last book, The War On Women, is also his best, a well-researched, eloquent cry for help for the victims of domestic violence.

In the past two years, he had become a passionate advocate for vulnerable women,and traveled the country speaking out for them. His fight for more awareness of domestic violence substantially raised the profile of that issue. He leaves a real legacy, a record of achievement few journalists can ever lay claim to.

There was so much more he wanted to do. Brian’s phone calls were filled with ambitious future plans both as an author and as a publisher. I marveled at what he wanted to do, wondered how he would ever get it all done.

But at the same time, those calls were filled with increasing complaints about back pain. He thought he had pulled something exercising. Instead of getting better, however, the pain grew worse.

His doctor sent him to physiotherapists.  They provided no relief whatsoever. He could not work he was hurting so much. Now when he phoned his voice sounded weak. He seemed much older. Something was wrong, I said. This had to be more than a pulled muscle. Finally, blood tests were done. His doctor ordered him to get to a hospital.

He went into St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, May 14. He never left. Yesterday morning at 10:33 a.m., with wonderful Nancy at his side, Brian went away. I got there a moment before he left. I took his hand in mine, and he was gone.

So that is how forty-two years of friendship slips off; how the best friends leave. As he escaped away, I shouted how much I loved him, and how much he had meant to me—how I would miss him.

He just kept going. I hope he heard me.

Brian (July, 2010)

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The Escarpment: A Video

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Bumping Into O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson in The Towering Inferno

Arriving on the San Francisco set of The Towering Inferno—the downtown Bank of America building was standing in for the film’s fiery skyscraper—there was no one around.

In the Bank of America lobby I found extras dressed to look like survivors of, well, a towering inferno, clothes disheveled, faces smudged. There was no sign of Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Fred Astaire, or Robert Wagner, the stars who were the excuse for coming up to San Francisco in the first place.

As I turned to leave, I bumped into a guy in a green security guard’s uniform, realizing with a start that it was O.J. Simpson, the former Buffalo Bills football superstar turned actor. He was, in fact, playing a security guard in the movie. He wandered through the crowded lobby. No one paid any attention to him.

I thought to myself, if nothing else worked out tonight, at least I could say I encountered one movie star. Sort of a movie star.

That was the last I saw of O.J. The other, much bigger stars of The Towering Inferno soon arrived and in the course of a night watching Newman and McQueen at work, I forgot all about O.J. Simpson.

Years later, in June 1994, I was living in Los Angeles when he was arrested for the murders of his estranged wife, Nicole nicolebrownsimpson[1]Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

The ensuing trial roiled America in ways few other criminal cases ever have. In the U.S. and the rest of the world this was a national and international event. In L.A. it was a local story. Twenty-two years after the infamous Bronco chase along the San Diego Freeway, much to my amazement, the drama continues to fascinate and perplex.

Earlier this year the FX network presented The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, a ten-part drama about the trial. Instead of being an exploitive rip-off, as it might well have been, the limited series wound up being one of television’s best dramas.

This week ESPN (in Canada, it’s showing on the CTV network) is presenting an exhaustive eight-hour documentary, O.J.: Made In America, directed by Ezra Edelman. The film sets the Simpson story into a larger cultural context, focusing on L.A.’s racial divide and, more tellingly, the troubled relationship between the city’s police department and its African American citizens.

If you could not believe Simpson got away with two murders, you certainly better understand how it happened after viewing Edelman’s riveting film. The documentary and the earlier FX drama both draw heavily on New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin’s detailed account of the case, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson (apparently there is no such thing as a short title where O.J. is concerned).large_3nyt5niDxXMNGfKlXQ2XmB9hCUn[1]

 I watched the real life version of the story unfold from an apartment at 320 North Palm Drive in Beverly Hills, about a fifteen minute drive from the Brentwood  murder scene. At the time—and I have no reason to believe anything has changed—Beverly Hills was said to be the safest town in the United States (the cops were young, chiseled, and camera-ready for the TV series I suspected they all wanted to star in).

The street where I lived was lined with jacaranda trees that flowered every spring to form a lavender archway over the road. Walking along North Palm at that time of the year was magical. I really did feel as though I was in Lotus land.

Except I wasn’t, not really.

Los Angeles, as you might imagine, was transfixed by the televised drama being played out in a downtown courtroom. Everyone was watching, a daily soap opera you could not ignore—even if you tried.

I sat in front of my TV one bright afternoon thinking that I’m wasting my life watching this day after day.

I forced myself to turn off the television set. From around the courtyard outside my window I could hear the blare of dozens of neighboring televisions, all tuned to the trial. There was no escape.

Through it all, I can’t remember hearing anyone say Simpson was innocent. But then I was moving in a pretty narrow white bread enclave. I won’t say I never saw anyone of color, but it was rare. Not so far away, but largely unseen by us Westside residents, was an entirely different—and much larger—universe of African Americans and Latinos. I must be honest and say I seldom saw this L.A.—usually only when a group of us ventured south to historic Dodger Stadium for a baseball game.

In my little jacaranda-scented world, there was no doubt about Simpson’s guilt. The grandstanding antics of defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran were just that, antics. Nobody would ever take him seriously. The photographs of the interior of the bloodstained Bronco alone were enough to warrant conviction.

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The first time I truly understood there was a much different view of all this was on the day Simpson won acquittal in October 1995. No one around my neighborhood could believe it. I walked over to Beverly Drive in the late afternoon after the verdict was announced. I’ve never seen such astonishment, anger, and confusion as there was on that street. Not far away, however, people were cheering and dancing in the streets.

Two decades later, viewing O.J. Simpson: Made In America, the verdict remains hard to fathom. You can’t help but think that despite the racial divide, any empathy the jury might have had for the accused, the evidence was so devastating, how could there not have been a conviction?

Edelman’s documentary doesn’t take sides, but it leaves little doubt as to Simpson’s guilt. Is there anyone nowadays who truly believes he was innocent (according to Toobin’s book, even Johnnie Cochran privately thought he was guilty)? The answer to that question is, as it was twenty years ago: depends on who you talk to.

I look back on that time in Los Angeles with a mixture of nostalgia and guilt. This was also the time when I met my wife Kathy and fell in love, the constant chatter of the Simpson trial playing in the background.

But still, I regret that I was so caught up in my sense of the mythic Los Angeles, the city of my simplistic childhood dreams of Hollywood and the movies, that I largely missed the bigger, more complex, much more diverse picture of the city.

I saw the jacaranda trees flowering on a lovely street in Beverly Hills, but I should have seen a lot more.

 

 

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How I Didn’t Host Canada AM and Saved Canadian Television

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No sooner had I escaped the clutches of the Toronto Star than a producer at Canada AM, the CTV network’s long-running version of America’s Today Show, phoned to ask if I would be interested in becoming one of the hosts.

I doubt I was actually being offered a job so much as being given the opportunity to audition. I don’t think they ever would have been crazy enough to let me loose on Canada’s national airwaves without some indication of what they were getting themselves into.

I had appeared on the show fairly regularly. While I was never on long enough to make a good impression, I suppose I wasn’t on long enough to make a bad one, either.

Luckily for Canada AM I had, by that time, decided I wasn’t a TV kind of guy. What’s more, having just left one demanding institution, I wasn’t about to join another. That’s how I saved Canadian television—I stayed out of it. The medium was much better off without me.

My checkered television career began in the 1970s when CBC producer Ross MacLean hired me to be one of the regulars on a Toronto arts and entertainment show he was producing. Ross had fallen on hard times by then, and he is all but forgotten now, but he was one of the pioneers of Canadian television. He helped get CBC-TV on the air and had discovered Pierre Berton, Patrick Watson, and Charles Templeton among others, broadcasting icons in their day.

If anyone in Canada knew television and the kind of personality who worked in the medium, it was Ross. I ran into him at a reception after the show had been on for a few weeks. Being young and eager, I asked the Great Man how he thought I was doing. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Not very well, Ron. Frankly, I’m very disappointed.”

Oh.

That taught me one of life’s invaluable lessons: never ask a TV guru what he thinks of you. Needless to say, I was not added to the list of Ross’s iconic discoveries.

In those days, I wrote a lot about television. I was around when both City-TV and Global went on the air. When Canada-AM started up in 1972, I duly interviewed Helen Hutchinson and Norm Perry, the hosts who were most associated with the show in its early days. They regaled me with tales of rising and shining at three o’clock in the morning so they could be on the air at 6:30.

I began appearing on the show in the 1980s, talking about movies. The Canada AM studios were located at CFTO in the wilds of Agincourt, an eastern Toronto suburb. A taxi would pick me up at six o’clock for the long ride to the studio, invariably in rush hour traffic. Once there I would then sit around for another hour or so, time that included getting fully made up, a process that seemed to take forever—hiding the dark circles under my eyes being a major cosmetic achievement.

By the time I was finally ushered onto the set it was after 8 a.m. Memory has me regularly talking to Craig Oliver, although Craig usually covered Ottawa politics and I don’t think he was ever a regular host.

My appearances generally went something like this—and I am only slightly exaggerating:

Host: Our guest this morning is Toronto Star film critic Ron Base. (turning to me) Ron, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark opens this weekend. Tell us about it.

Ron: Well, Craig, the Indiana Jones movie is an action-packed extravaganza that will have you on the edge—

Host: Thanks, Ron. (turning to camera) That was Ron Base, Toronto Star movie critic reviewing the Indiana Jones movie. We’ll be back after these words from out sponsors.

Once the show went to a commercial break, everyone on the set would look relieved. Someone would say, “That went well,” and I would be ushered off, clutching the Canada AM coffee mug which, if I recall correctly, was about my only payment for the appearance. Then it was out to a waiting taxi for the ride back into Toronto, this time at the height of the morning commute. Two hours or so later, I would be at the office trying to shake off the feeling that I had said almost nothing but had spent most of the morning saying it.

Not surprisingly, any association I had with the show ended after that phone call from the Canada AM producer. How I would ever have fit into its formula is anyone’s guess. From its inception, the show was insistently bright and bland, featuring carefully coiffed hosts and hostesses not out to rock any boats, a reflection of the white bread, controversy-shy network that produced it.

Could I have looked appropriately lively and bubbly every morning, excited over the latest recipe for guacamole, interviewing the Irish Rovers, sympathetically shaking my head at weather reports of another freezing day on the prairies? Could I have pulled that off?

Even if they had been nuts and actually put me on the air, I can’t imagine I would have lasted long. No doubt about it, I saved Canadian television the day I said no.

Still, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of nostalgia as Canada AM finally made its exit last week, remembering my minor association with the show.

The CTV network, trailing a long history of unceremoniously drowning its babies, says it will soon replace Canada AM with a new morning show. I am not expecting a phone call.

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