13.1.08

Studio E

Journal Entry. August 31, 1980.
Studio "E", 354 Jarvis St. Toronto.

The thing about silence is that no matter how hard you try, you simply can't ignore it.

It just is.

It calms you down. Gets you focused. Helps you be.

I've become one of those people who's life is an unending 'to-do' list. But every once in a while I come down to this empty studio and just hang out.

I sit at Don and Peter's chair, use their type writer and write my intros. And when I finally get it all done, I still myself ... and simply listen. Smudging my mind with one of radio's most powerful tools and gentlest gifts - silence.

The sound proofing has created a deadness to the air in here. It's heavy and thick and protective - a kind of sanctuary from the busy corridors, gossipy stairwells and clattering caff.

This old studio - littered with discarded newspapers, stale ashtrays and forgotten coffee mugs is where Gzowski and Harron, Maxine Crook, Harry Boyle, Vicki Gabereau, Carol Taylor, Bruce Cockburn, David Shatsky, Bob Spence and a dozen other fill-in hosts --- have sat before the big silver mike on a red-and-black steno chair, their scripts spread before them like playing cards --- taken a deep breath and simply talked.

And what great talk I have been privileged to hear these past fourteen months.

Dizzy Gillespie. Paul Henderson. Ella Fitzgerald. Hugh McLennan. Charlie Lynch. Judy LaMarsh. Richard Gwyn. Pierre Trudeau. Sophia Loren. Peter Sellers. Super Tramp. Harold Ballard. W.O. Mitchell .. and my pal, Margaret Laurence.

I bumped into John Diefenbaker waiting in the hallway one day and like a moron - didn't recognize him. In my busyness I brushed past this little old man in a black coat who nodded and asked me how my day was going.

Studio E. 354 Jarvis.

A silent room at the end of a non-descript corridor in a mouse infested, ramshackle, too-hot-or-too-cold building is where Canada's ghosts live.

Nice to have met you.

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