The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

April 19, 2017

April 19, 1948

I always thought the Garrison Keillor of Canada was Garrison Keillor. I mean, what is a few miles of snowy space. But, I am corrected. They have (had, sadly) Stuart McLean (April 19, 1948 to February 15, 2017).

We learn from McLean's obituary:

Stuart McLean, [was] an award-winning humorist who became a beloved fixture on CBC Radio as host of The Vinyl Café,....

McLean was a veteran journalist, former Ryerson University instructor, and three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for humour.
...The Vinyl Café, 
[was] a summer replacement show in 1994 that became a popular staple on the CBC Radio roster at noon on Sundays in 1997.
.....The Vinyl Café, which featured a mix of stories, essays and music often performed live in cities and towns across the country, was spun off into a series of bestselling books.

The show’s gently humorous stories centred on Dave, the owner of a second-hand record store, and also featured his wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie. One of the show’s most popular tales, “Dave Cooks the Turkey,” soon became an annual Christmas tradition on the show thanks to demand from McLean’s loyal fans....

“He took the mundane . . . and made it beautiful,” [one commentator said.]

....McLean began teaching broadcast journalism at Ryerson University in 1985 before retiring in 2004 when he was appointed professor emeritus. He was also appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 2011 for his “contributions to Canadian culture as a storyteller and broadcaster, as well as for his many charitable activities.”

His signature website said this ABOUT STUART MCLEAN

Stuart McLean was a best selling author, award-winning journalist and humorist, and [radio] host .....

Stuart also wrote
Welcome Home: Travels in Small Town Canada, and edited the collection When We Were Young. Welcome Home was chosen by the Canadian Authors' Association as the best non-fiction book of 1993.

We have this note from Huffpo's tribute:

Stuart McLean’s listeners didn’t know much about him personally, but they felt close to him, because his warm voice piped through the radio so regularly and for so many years.
In his honour, we’ve decided to round up some of our favourite Vinyl Cafe tales......

Polly Anderson's Christmas Party

Only McLean could turn a yarn of children getting hopelessly drunk into one that makes everyone's stomachs hurt.

Toilet Training the Cat

In this story, we learn Dave has a lot of faith in himself, and that cats can be terrifying.

Perhaps we should consider Garrison Keillor the Stuart Mclean of the US.

No comments: