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celebrating Eleanor and voting for Joe

Very fallish today, cold and damp with piles of glistening leaves on the ground. Yesterday, a joyfully busy day in the rain. Why is it that I have no social obligations for weeks and then many great things on the same day? Phooey.

Saturday afternoon, to Harbourfront for the celebration of 20 years of Eleanor Wachtel and her radio salon, “Writers and Company.” The place was packed with bookish fans, including many writers and Ellen Seligman, Canada’s best-known editor. I’ve known and loved Eleanor since our Vancouver days in the mid-Seventies. How marvellous to watch this public honouring of her intelligence, sensitivity and skill. Margaret Drabble, who’d flown in from London for the event, spoke with enormous warmth and appreciation about what it meant for weary authors on their lengthy book tours to arrive in Toronto, knowing that Eleanor would be there to welcome them. There was also an airing of excerpts from the show, which ended with Harold Bloom saying, after his interview was over, “Who was that extremely intelligent, kind woman? Tell her thank you. Thank you. Thank you,” he kept repeating, as if bewildered that he could be treated with so much respect and acuity.
Then followed a roundtable discussion, four interesting, very different writers with, as usual, Eleanor keeping the conversation lively and flowing and making us, and them, laugh. I’ve never admired her more. The show will be aired next Sunday at 3 p.m. on CBC 99.1. Don’t miss it.
Lucky moi, I was invited to the reception at the CBC afterwards, to join a creme de la creme of Toronto literati, celebrating not only Eleanor, but, in conjunction with the International Festival of Authors which is on now, various of the CBC’s other book-related ventures, including a new website about books. I ate mountains of delicious food (beet and chevre salad with sausage and leeks! Mini-hamburgers which for some reason are called sliders!), drank and talked; my neighbour Jian spoke, someone sang, the wine flowed, I ran into friends old and new and was extremely sorry to have to leave the festivities and run out into a cab.
Off to Factory Theatre to see “Billy Twinkle,” the master puppeteer Ronny Burkett’s lastest show. It’s more or less autobiographical, about a gay young man growing up in Moose Jaw, in love from a very early age with puppets, and what happens in his life. There was more than a little self-indulgence in the show, more than enough of the usual gay jokes – spurts of foolishness and vulgarity, and then a scene so moving and tender there were tears in my eyes, and then back to noise and show. Someone should take this great talent in hand and make him cut the cheesy stuff and do only the good stuff. He’d be spectacular.
Two huge blue jays at the birdfeeder, so all the sparrows wait in the nearby trees for their turn. Tomorrow, Toronto’s election. I am going to vote for Joe. The “Star” today urges us to vote strategically, because Smitherman is still far better than the horrible Rob Ford. That may be so, but Smitherman has run a spectacularly bad campaign and does not deserve my vote. I have voted strategically too often. Now I’m going to vote with my heart, for a good, honest man who tells the truth and deserves, like Eleanor, to be honoured.



One response to “celebrating Eleanor and voting for Joe”

  1. coach outlet says:

    your article is very great, im a honest reader that often come to view your articles. waiting for your more good thems.thanks.

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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


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