For the CBC.
Growing up in Toronto on Marlborough Ave between Summer hill and Rosedale for all you Toronto fans. At the corner of Marlborough and Yonge Street stood the CBC which is now a Staples. In the back parking lot is where they kept all the sets for staging the live television and movie productions. It was a magical mystery tour playing in all those castles. Inside the building is where the real magic happened. Front Page Challenge and Gordy Tap. When there was extra seats available they would let the kids in for free, because the shows were live across Canada and kids can make a lot of noise when it was time to applaud.
I always liked Pierre Berton he made me feel proud because we had the same name and I always learned from what he had to say but my real idol was Tommy Hunter.
One day after dinner I went out to the sidewalk and there he was standing alone on the corner of Marlborough and Yonge watching the traffic go by before his show. Its Tommy Hunter, this was my chance to meet him.
There he was , wearing a real cowboy hat and real cowboy boots, leather vest and jacket in a plaid shirt with one sleeve rolled up. As I got closer this giant of a man began to emerge. his hat silhouetted across the sky, He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a pack of Players pulled out a smoke, lit it up and took a deep draw and blew the smoke through his nose and mouth at the same time as he looked down Yonge Street. As my heart began to race he then turned and looked down at me straight in the eyes and said ……. FUCK OFF KID
Well pass the Pepsi. My whole life I never bought any of his records not that I needed to as everybody else in Canada had them. Art comes in many forms and later in life over a thirty year period I went on to become an executive producer in music , sports and television and helped produce some of the largest live events in the history of the United States . I never forgot where my inspiration came from, hanging out in the back parking lot of the CBC on Marlborough Ave. I felt connected with Don Messer in Halifax and felt connected to Canada. Pierre Berton made me feel proud to be a Canadian and Tommy Hunter made me tougher. Are you coming to the show tonight Punk! Pierre AJ Sabourin