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retirement? no way.

Just sat listening to the CBC morning radio program with tears pouring down my cheeks. Andy Barrie is leaving after 15 years as host of the early morning program; today’s show honoured him and greeted his successor, a cheery young local man called Matt Galloway. Moxy Fruvous were there to sing a wonderful song about Andy to the tune of the 50’s hit “Venus.” “Would you get really mad/if we were to call you Dad?”

Jill Dempsey spoke to Andy’s 93-year old mother in New York, and his daughter, a doctor in Albuquerque; both told us what we already know, that he’s a great man, a loving son and father. We all know that Andy’s beloved wife died some time ago, and that he himself has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He is warm, humourous, highly intelligent – a great companion. I regret that I so rarely listened to the radio in the morning. This morning, it was like being part of a big friendly club, which is how the CBC used to feel all the time.
I auditioned, once, for a job there, and spent an entire day moving from one studio to the next, reading news and weather copy for the then producer of the morning program. He spoke about hiring me, and suddenly I realised what that meant. Jill Dempsey spends every weekday morning at a small central desk in the middle of hundreds of busy people, waiting for her moments to read at the mike; she watches the clock constantly because at odd times – 6.42, 7.15, 8.33 – she is required in Studio A or B with this or that copy. It is the least private and most fractured of lives, and I realised that I would go mad.
But to those who do the work, many thanks; you do us a great service. I wrote once in an article about Gzowski that when listening to him, I felt like a kindergarten kid following the teacher on a walk, hanging onto a piece of string with all the others so we wouldn’t get lost. Here too, in the city of Toronto, we followed a great teacher, hanging onto the ribbon of his voice. He’ll be much missed. I wish him joy in his retirement.
Speaking of joy in retirement, my dear friend Denis, from Provence, retired from his practice as a psychologist in December, and next week will leave for a month in Haiti, to work as a psychologist with Handicap International. What an extraordinary adventure. This is exactly why he took retirement, not to sit still, for once in his life, but to have ever greater adventures.
I wish the same for Andy.



2 Responses to “retirement? no way.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I listened to the show in Laguna Beach, CA. At 3am. I wish him only the best.
    Tom Williams

  2. beth says:

    Greetings from Toronto, Mr. Laguna Beach. Wish you were here.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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