30.9.07

The Night We Broke Into 'As It Happens'

Journal Entry - Sunday Nov 18th, 1979

For a son-of-a-bitch tough guy Richard is a lot of fun. Likes his beer. Yes - indeed.

We had a staff morale-building booze up at the Red Lion Friday after the show which led to one massive night-on-the-town. The Red Lion. The Duke of York. Some strip club down at Queen and Jarvis. Chinese food on Spadina at midnight. Then in a stroke of management genius Richard said "hey, let's go raid the As It Happens fridge...they always have beer there."

2am - four of us left. Me, the boss, Robert Prouse, and the Arts and Books guy - Gary Michael Dault...all crashing around 354 Jarvis hoping the security guards don't catch us. Lots of beer and forgotten lunches in the AIH fridge. Tapes and newspapers and ash-trays everywhere. What a pig-sty. I snooped around and found DOZENS of HOME phone numbers.

Jackpot.

Ed Broadbent. Johnny Bower. Robert Bourassa. Roch Carriere. Charles Lynch. Tommy Douglas. Spike Milligan. Bob Rae. Ian Tyson. Jim Laxer. Flora Macdonald. Harold Ballard ...all solid GOLD. So, while Richard and Dault talked shop and drank Starowicz's beer I scribbled down as many numbers as I could...didn't feel guilty about stealing them at all. The AIH gang are a patronizing bunch who treat me like shit.

Fuck 'em.

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Monday, October 1st, 2007.

This will not be a fun post. Feeling very down this morning. Not sure why. Gotta be those damn month end bills. Without a "real" job this is always a high stress couple of days. Thank God for call-display.

I once did a CBC Network Special with Joe Schlessinger back in 93 when Mulroney was retiring. It was Tony Burman's brilliant way of getting Joe OUT of the Ottawa bureau so that Keith Boag could "ascend". I had just come back from a nasty couple of months in Bosnia and was burned out (yes, even then). Tony was running the division - we always got along well, and he gave me a dream assignment. Go coast to coast to coast for as long as I wanted with Joe and a dedicated crew to paint a "portrait" of how Canada had changed after almost a decade of Mulroney.

Joe's a great guy to travel with - lots of stories...wine filled lunches..and he always flies 'J' class which meant that I often got upgraded too. One night we were in a pub in Jonquiere trying to pick up a couple of white-trash French girls (yes, indeed - THE saintly Joe Schlessinger, that ole horn dog)....at one point late into the evening I asked Joe for some financial advice - "easy" he said -:

"die young"

Well, I'm on the cusp of the dying-time now.

53.

Joe - I should note, has done well. But he's paid his dues. He lived in a nice condo in New Edinburgh in Ottawa (with about EIGHT Gemini awards on the mantle) which he flipped for mega bucks. I think the mistake I made...was moving too much within the system (I worked in five CBC centres) and I never had enough cash to buy into the Toronto housing market before it blew up. Leaving the CBC to run a little prodco with no real money in the bank probably wasn't the best idea I've had either - although when I left in the 90s being a Senior Producer on the Mansbridge/Wallin show was like being in that bunker off Unter Den Linden.

So, on days like today I lose a few meters of hard-won ground in the on-going psychological battle of trying to find that elusive BALANCE.

I go to earth and hope the Russians leave me alone.

Oh yea...last night I stayed up 'till 1am watching Guy Maddin's doc on Winnipeg. Cheered me right up.

2 comments:

John Scully said...

Great Start mate. I proud of you.

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