Roger Abbott died last Saturday. I filed his obituary with The Globe today. Six days later. This was a record for me and now I’m satisfied that I can do it. There are many challenges in the way, not the least being my energy level and those all-consuming other demands of living, but I pushed them aside and dove into telling some choice bits of Roger’s life.
Challenging also because Roger’s Royal Canadian Air Farce notoriety has been well covered in the media and finding a fresh angle wasn’t easy but I did it. I did it by asking the right question at a good time and Don Ferguson promising to send me excerpts from a memoir he and Roger penned together, due to be published in September.
So Roger spoke in my ear and led my fingers to stroke the right keys to file the right story on deadline and then, oh dear, and then my editor told me he’s holding onto the story until next Saturday. Hopefully next Saturday. Because one never knows for sure in this business. Or in any other, really, come to think of it.
But I’m still pleased with myself for meeting this tight deadline. I done good for Roger and he done good for me. A week ago I hardly knew anything about him and had paid no attention to The Royal Canadian Air Farce since Gzowski’s Morningside Days when I lived on Walmer Road with a pack of youngsters and was on the ripe side of thirty.
For most of the next two decades I didn’t have a television set and anyway spent more time taking it to the street with a placard in hand protesting this or that than I was plunked down with a remote anywhere.
But now: deadline met; fresh writing done; crash course on a Canadian cultural icon I suppose. All in all a pretty productive week.
I can’t steal a copyrighted photo of Roger Abbott to post on this blog. Instead, I’m leaving you with something more representative of what I have dedicated to this man over the past few days.
Read about him next Saturday. I hope