A Prairie Layton marker

Here is how my morning begins: with a coffee and the death notices. Not so very unusual really but what’s more unusual is that I do it as a fishing expedition: hoping to catch a glimmer of a story (excuse mixed metaphor) worth pitching to my editor so I can flesh it out (and another!) into storytelling a fuller life.

Never all that full though: my limit is 1500 words and maybe another four or five hundred inside blog postings.

I read these death notices online, naturally, since that’s the way-of-the-present. It’s ironic that I surf newspapers across the country online so I can publish in an honest to goodness finger-staining rag begun by George Brown in 1844. The Globe and Mail started out as a weekly with a circulation of 300, and by Oct. 1, 1853, became a daily with a circulation of 6,000.

In 1880, Brown was shot in the leg by a disgruntled former employee, George Bennett, and died weeks later from an infection in the wound. But all that is beside the point. This ain’t no history lesson folks. Instead, I want to tell you about my meanderings this morning at the Regina Post where I came across this death notice:

Jack Layton

With the untimely death of Jack Layton, Acadia-McKague’s Funeral Centre is proud to offer the community an opportunity to sign a book of condolences. This book will be available for signing daily between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m…and will be presented to the Layton family following the services in Ontario.

I am touched.

Tomorrow I’ll be at Jack Layton’s memorial, waiting outside Roy Thompson Hall with throngs of well wishers. I’ll carry a light canvas lawn chair under one arm and I’ll have a pen & notebook stuffed shoved inside a pocket.

I’ll be back to report later.


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About Nor

I'm a creative non-fiction writer, with a special interest in memoirs and obituaries--life stories, local histories with flesh & blood anecdotal details. I'm also beginning to create podcasts of people's stories and expanding their audiences. I'm a diarist, an editor, and a political activist. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and spend days tapping keys or staining my fingers in ink.
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