Michelle called me Wednesday afternoon with the sad news, not 5 minutes later my Mom contacted me as well to let me know that we lost a Canadian icon, our beloved Stuart McLean. Yesterday as I listened to CBC’s special Canada’s Storyteller: A Tribute to Stuart McLean, I was unable to hold back the tears as I heard the voice that has been ever present throughout my life.
Stuart McLean was the background to many childhood cartrips. I remember sitting in the backseat of my best friend’s jeep, with her parents in the front laughing along with Dave and Morley. At that time I didn’t understand the stories or many of the jokes, but I remember his voice.
As I grew older, I began to read Stuart McLean’s books, and when I was able I would tune into the Vinyl Cafe on CBC radio. It wasn’t until about ten years ago that he had such an impact on my life.
In April of 2006, Ed and I became engaged on our first date, we were married in July, August we moved into our new home in a small town where I didn’t know anyone… 10 months later we were became first-time parents. In a new relationship, a new town, with a new baby posed a great challenge for me. I loved my little baby so much, and I couldn’t ask for a more attentive husband, but those long nights with a fussy baby were trying. As we didn’t have a television at the time, I would often tune into CBC on the radio to keep me company. During one particularly rough night I happened to catch the Vinyl Cafe, Stuart McLean’s familiar voice filled the room, and suddenly Dave and Morley were there, I was no longer alone. These stories brought me comfort, and helped me to laugh my way through that difficult part of my life.
Just two summers ago Michelle and I left our families for a week as we were asked to be Girls’ Camp counsellors. This was the first time I had been away from my little family overnight, I was so terribly lonely for them that I had problems sleeping. Michelle asked if I liked the Vinyl Cafe, she then pulled out her contraband cell phone (such a rebel) and played Vinyl Cafe podcasts until we would laugh ourselves to sleep. Once again Stuart McLean’s voice was there to help me through a few more rough nights.
Now you are probably wondering what this has to do with dolls? Well it was at this camp, during one of those late nights that Michelle and I came up with the idea to create our own truly Canadian doll website. It was with the sound of Stuart McLean’s voice in the background this website was born.
Michelle and I want to thank you again Stuart McLean for all that you have done for us, and Canada. Thank you for your stories that helped, and continue to help us laugh through some of the hardest times in our lives. You may be gone, but never will you be forgotten.