Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Program

Stuart McLean -- Order of Canada
   One of my favourite story tellers, Stuart McLean, died early this year.  He was only 68.  I never met Stuart, but I listened to his show, The Vinyl Cafe, every week on the CBC.

At a time when our news media is filled with tales of disaster, violence, fraud and "the evil that men do" Stuart sought out stories of every day people doing good, helping their neighbours, volunteering at the food bank, or the school concert.  He telephoned people out of the blue to tell them they'd won a ticket to one of his shows, and let the rest of the country listen in on the excitement. 
     There was something special about a Stuart McLean broadcast.  It gave hope in an often dark world.  It reminded us of the goodness that lives in the hearts of men and women.  I'm not sure how he worked that magic, but I suspect it was because he listened. He listened to the people who wrote him letters.  He listened to the man on the street.  He listened to the child on her way to a music lesson.
     Part of his show were the original stories he told of Dave, Morley, Stephanie and Sam.  For regular listeners, Dave and his family and his neighbourhood were like an old family friend.  When Stuart died, that family and and the neighbourhood died too.  I miss them very much. Stuart McLean showed us the best of ourselves, even in our foibles and mistakes. His legacy is a gift to the nation.
    Thanks to the CBC and modern technology, we can still listen in.  In this season of hope, I invite you to click here and listen to his last show.  

Merry Christmas.

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