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Saturday, October 15, 2011


Recently I was working out in the basement...early morning, treadmill 5:15 am. Generally during this time I'm only half awake as I mechanically get my legs moving in a walking/running motion. To help me through the process I turn the TV on. Early morning CBC is series of repeats from the previous night's programming, so I just kind of half listen to news shows and sorta watch as Chris and Steve give design advice, make interesting cocktails and review some new gadgets. One particular morning suddenly I heard Mr. Dress Up's voice. (For those who do not know. Mr. Dress up  was a popular Canadian kids show from 1967 to 1996.) Well, it was as if someone has resurrected someone from the dead, a familiar someone. Someone at CBC had changed a file in the vast archives of my brain from "childhood memories, vague & irrelevant" to "childhood memories, vivid and significant".

As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations CBC has been airing quick flicks of old shows. There they were on the screen several pairs of forty somethings, happily resting toddlers on their hips, talking about how Mr. Dress Up influenced them as parents and as people. As they spoke they flashed to various episodes. I cried a bit at the sights and sounds of Mr. Dress up drawing with a marker on his easel. Then I got to wondering, "Really Za, what the heck?" They end each flashback segment with that very distinct CBC sound,  followed by a voice over, "CBC, yours to Celebrate", then I got to  pondering how much a part of my life CBC has been. I determined that it has been a very important part of who I have become. Not just Mr. Dress Up though, but others like the Friendly Giant.

Every morning at 10:15 I would hear the theme song to the Friendly Giant, something so inviting about the softness of the harp and the flute. For some reason I can't explain, I happen to know the lyrics  to this song and so in my moment of reflection, my 42 year old self sang it ...out loud, alone in my basement  at 5:30 AM while I walked, keeping my hips in rhythm before they ceased up.

"Early one morning before the sun had risen, I saw a bright star in fields gayley singing, Bluebirds were singing, south winds were blowing."   ETC...

Such a pretty song. God, I thought to myself, I must have PMS. I continued to ponder. As a child I wanted to be David Suzuki. I loved how he spent time with nature, explained things. I learned so much from him. I think he is the  reason that every now and then I can't resist the urge to get "natural" in nature. Who knows? I loved watching the CBCevening news with my father, even though I  could have cared less about what was happening in the world. Still today, I  go to bed every night with  Peter Mansbridge. What ever shall I ever do when he retires? And something about the CBC logo, I  don't know, such a part of me, both radio and TV.

For me, a long road trip would not be the same without the comforting companionship of my CBC radio. It doesn't matter what's on there. On a recent trip through  the mountains in BC, feeling isolated and far from other people I rounded a corner and saw an official road sign indicating where to find CBC radio on the dial and suddenly I  did not feel so alone.

Many years ago at an interview for a job at the Steak and Stein the interviewer asked me what I might like to do given the choice of anything. The young me said I  would like to work at CBC radio. I  didn't get the Steak and Stein job--thankfully, but isn't retrospect is a wonderful thing? That would have been the day to  go home, sit and fill out my application for a journalism program, but no, instead that same week I accepted a job at a pharmacy. Oh dear, getting side tracked again. 
My point is that CBC is a huge and very important part of  me and and who I  have become.  It is like a family member. The characters from my past like pseudo grandparents or something. Between the two of them in particular (Mr. D and Friendly G) my imagination was stimulated daily. I learned to create, sing, share, put my toys away, be kind, put my crayons back in the package, ask older people for advice, (remember Wise Old Owl), respect difference, love animals and perhaps most importantly ,that I as a little person, had value. Well thanks so much CBC!

On September 17th, 2001 I wrote in my  journal, "AM: Mr. Dress up had a stroke. PM:Mr. Dress up died."
I remember taking the time on my break at work (at the pharmacy) to jot this important info down.
I Did the same with the  Friendly Giant  on May 15th, 2000 "Pretty cold outside today...Friendly Giant died."
Who knew I'd be writing about it all so many years later. (Maybe I did.) I heard both announcements onCBC Radio and I remember the brief but sad feeling that came over me.

Often people mock me for listening to  my CBC radio, stating how they can't stand all the talk. I  have to wonder the same about their choice to listen to private radio with all the noisy ads. I  wouldn't trade it for anything. It continues to be a big part of my adult life. Ponder. Express gratitude

An earwig just crawled across my keyboard. Not sure from where he came. I just watched his frantic movements. He is in such a hurry. Creepy, but no need to  kill him really. A good distraction. South Winds are blowing today...
Time to  go, grab my ipod nano, tune into CBC and take the dogs for a walk on this beautiful warm windy day, before Mother Nature has a mood swing.