Lain's Log

Niagara Falls! - Slowly I Turned

October 31/11.

Happy Halloween!

So much on the go over the past few days, I forgot to buy candy! Must do that today! For now though, will forget about Halloween and tell a different story.

Back in late August, I was contacted by Beth Angle, Community Development Coordinator for Recreation & Culture in Niagara Falls.

She was hoping I could put her in touch with someone from the family of my late, great Global friend, Bob McAdorey, so she could get permission to induct him into the Niagara Falls Arts & Culture Wall of Fame.

Loving Bob the way I did, I was thrilled to hear his hometown wanted to honour him, and in time, I got Beth connected with Bob's daughter, Colleen Tatti, who OK'd the induction.

Next? Enter Bill Brioux.

Bill in the pumpkin patch! - (choosing a Jack-o-lantern??)

My longtime friend, TV critic/writer Bill Brioux was asked to polish up the McAdorey bio to be read at the big event, and before we knew it, the two of us were invited to come to the ceremony and accept the honour on Bob's behalf, since his family members were unable to attend. We were flattered to be asked and made plans to travel to Niagara Falls. I took a Greyhound bus, (a first for me), and Bill drove up the next morning, after his son, Daniel's commencement ceremony.

When I checked into my hotel room, couldn't BELIEVE the stunning view! (I requested a falls view, but Ai Carumba! - The place manages to leave me breathless, no matter HOW many times I see it)!

Niagara Falls has always been one of my favourite places to visit, especially in autumn.


Incredible views from every window! - (Could I just stay here for a week or two??)

And beautiful fall colours!

Funny to be in Niagara Falls just before Halloween. Clifton Hill has an abundance of Houses of Horror! SCARY!!!!!!!!!!

Frankenstein enjoying a burger!

Gargoyles galore! (strangely, though horror movies are an obsession of mine, I could NEVER enter one of these places alone! Watching TV is one thing. Wandering solo through a horror house with axe murderers jumping out at you from all sides, is another!) - I save a LOT of money by just looking at these places from the OUTSIDE!! My over-the-top imagination makes up for ANYTHING I might discover INSIDE!!!

The 1931 version of Dracula has always been on my Top 10 list of favourite movies. I kept wishing Bela Lugosi would show up!

Believe it or not, Renfield/Igor (actor Dwight Frye) is my fave Dracula character...even more than Dracula HIMSELF,

but the very thought of running into him, ("YES MASTER!!!") scares me to death! - (what IS it with me and scary men????) I actually have a copy of a book about Dwight Frye, kindly given to me by my TV scriptwriter pal, Bruce Kirschbaum, who said I was the only woman he knew (other than Dwight Frye's MOTHER), who would want to read it! He's right. - I mean, has anyone else even HEARD of this guy??

This vulture was outside one of the many NF horror establishments. It's programmed to "talk" to passersby in a menacingly hoarse, loud tone, taunting everyone to come inside and threatening to lock you in forever, if you don't. Really scary, but at the same time, hilarious! - (I think I went back to see this character three times because the voice was SO hypnotically mesmerizing)!!

I passed by the Great Canadian Midway arcade.

It brought back memories of the days we used to take our kids there to put tokens into the dozens of machines inside, win coupons and collect tiny prizes on the way out. Sigh.
(then we'd go next door and buy fudge).

In the gift shop of the Sheraton by the Falls Hotel on Clifton Hill, I ran into Zoltar, the fortune teller. (same guy who speaks in the Tom Hanks movie, BIG). Decided I HAD to get him to tell my fortune. I dropped in a loonie and he told me all kinds of things, including the fact that I was about to do something I had never done before and that I should DO it!
(Not sure how Zoltar knew I was about to make an acceptance speech for the first time!)

Despite very cold temperatures, I walked right down to the Falls to take a close-up look. Love to hear that roaring sound.

Nothing like it. Makes you forget anything else going on around you. Two guys from Hamilton offered to take my picture.
I quickly hightailed it back to the hotel to practice my speech!

The following morning, Bill arrived. I brought along my 3 Stooges triple mask for Halloween (since we're both life long Stooge fanatics). We promised ourselves that later in the day, we'd head down to the Falls to try and recreate the classic Curly, Larry & Moe scene - "NIAGARA FALLS!!!"

Then it was off to Niagara Square, scene of the Wall of Fame induction ceremony, where we were entertained by the NF Concert Band.

A town crier officially pronounced the proceedings!

Bob's award was waiting for him.

Bill & I got called to the podium to say a few words in memory of our friend.

It's been a long time since I spoke in front of a crowd, so I was pretty shaky and read from notes, but got through it, no tears. Here's what I said:
"It's a pleasure for me to be here today. In the course of many of our conversations over the years, Bob often told me of his time here in Niagara Falls, his love of the city and of the people. I only wish he could be here to accept this tribute for himself, but I'm honoured to say a few words on his behalf. I know his family, - his daughter, Colleen, (whom I worked with at Global), and his grandchildren, are proud.

Bob's irreverence and raucous humour are the things I remember most about him. Despite many challenges and sadnesses in his life, he maintained his biting edge wit to the bitter end, and knowing him was one of the big joys of my life.

If he WERE here today, I know he would be thrilled to be inducted into the Wall of Fame and to be remembered. But I also think he would probably say, 'What TOOK you so long'??

Thank you so very much for honouring him in this special way.

Now, one of Bob's favourite TV guests, Bill Brioux, has a few words to say".

Bill spoke directly from the heart, no notes, cracking people up with funny stories about Bob, making me green with envy that he can "wing it" in a way I could never hope to achieve. Since Bill had no script, I can't copy & paste it here,
but he DID tell one of my favourite stories about his weekly Friday "TV Guide" visits to "Ent Desk", when he was always warned NOT to discuss any programming that wasn't aired on Global! - NO CROSS-OVER PROMOTION FOR OTHER STATIONS! And then, the second the red light went on, Bob would immediately ask Bill about shows on ALL the other networks! Bill just laughed and would go with the flow. There was no arguing with Bob! It was HIS show, all the way.

Afterwards, we met with several dignitaries, including the Mayor, James Diodati, (in light blue shirt, next to the podium), and had fun, swapping emotional memories with other Mac fans. It wasn't hard to bring tears to my eyes, talking about Bob with those who also cared about him.

Bill & I proudly posed with Bob McAdorey's Wall of Fame award. Miss you every day Bob!

Click here to read Bill's take on the day's events on his TV Feeds My Family blog.

Once our "job" was done, Bill & I kept the promise to each other to enter the world of the Stooges, if only for a minute or two!

We walked down to the falls, despite the rain and cold, and asked a passerby to snap a shot of our routine. What a blast. I think Bill is the only guy in the world who could make this zany fantasy come true! ("Why soitenly"!!)
"Slowly I turned… step by step…inch by inch…I crept up on the rogue that stole my gal!" (nyuk nyuk nyuk!)

This is the photo used at the ceremony to remember Bob. It was taken on the set of Entertainment Desk, the show he hosted for years and that Bill & I guested on. (Bob's world, - we just lived in it).

Now that this weekend is over, it almost seems like some kind of dream. But the pictures tell me it actually happened. Thanks to Beth Angle and to everyone in Niagara Falls who allowed us to be a part of this magical weekend!

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Take off, eh?

October 28/11.

Leaving now to go to Niagara Falls for a one-day journey of self-discovery, OR in search of a Ferris Bueller's Day Off! (or maybe BOTH!)

All in memory of my late friend, Bob McAdorey.

More when I get back!

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Old friends

October 25/11.

Haven't been able to post much because everyone I've seen the last few days, has refused permission to allow me write about them! (Who knew I have so many very private pals)? But not tonight!

My incredible friend, Pam Deacon-Pickard, (whom I first met poolside during a family vacation several years ago at Fern Resort in Orillia), took me out for a belated birthday dinner tonight at Omonia on The Danforth. We had a blast!

She toasted me for a happy, healthy year ahead (could use it!) and we enjoyed appetizer Greek salads, seafood souvlaki for me, pork souvlaki for her, with rice and veggies! All delicious! Though I live just blocks from Omonia, this was my first visit to the classy establishment (as I usually frequent my fave place, The Friendly Greek).

Pam, Dave and me!

Our waiter, Dave, was so handsome, Pam & I concluded he must be a model or actor. Turns out, he's a musician, a bassist with the band SIXXXER, (described as a rock alternative punk band from Toronto). According to legend, formed in 2009 and released their first EP in April of 2010. Sadly, my attempt at taking an auto-shot with him, failed miserably, and looks even worse if I move in for a close-up. Sorry about that, Dave! He is also a very attentive server and helped make it a great evening!

Apparently, Dave B also plays in another band called Neverending White Lights.
Will have to check them out!

Pam & I share a mutual love for Robin Williams, so naturally, she had to wear her Robin jacket, purchased at his last live Toronto concert. (she bought me a fridge magnet from one of his shows which never leaves our fridge!)

Pam reminded me about her funny Robin story from a few years ago. It happened as he made his way to the stage for his one-man show at Massey Hall. Right after he was introduced, it became quiet and Pam yelled out "I love you Robin!" He instantly replied, "LOOK everyone - it's my first Canadian Slut!" Pam jumped out of her seat and shouted, "Woo hoo!" - (then promptly sat down!) A memorable Robin moment.

Pam says, Robin is the only man ever who would be able to get away with calling her such a name.

(for the record, I'd be OK with him calling ME that too!) Woo hoo!

Seems to be my week for reuniting with old friends. On Monday night, went with a special acquaintance, (who wishes to remain nameless) to The Sierra Grill at Bayview Village. We enjoyed a heartfelt conversation for a couple of hours. Very nice way to spend an afternoon. After so very many months looking after Mum and then myself, I was forced to neglect friends. Trying to make up for that now.

Inside, (while waiting for the mystery guest to arrive), this was the cute
fall-themed lobby display.

Took the TTC home from Bayview & Sheppard and discovered a lovely sunset view awaiting me at the neighbourhood intersection of Broadview & Danforth at rush hour.

Wow! So pretty.

The weather was so beautiful, didn't even need a jacket!

Then, ran into my latest blog mascots, the coolest guys - Bolton brothers Aubrey & Dana. They played for me (and others!) at Gerrard & Carlaw.

Love them! They perform so well as a duo. (And well they SHOULD, after decades together!) - To date, Aubrey & Dana have yet to EVER see themselves on this blog, since neither has access to a computer. Wish they could make enough money to afford one!

Just a block from home, had to stop and take a shot of the beautiful autumn colours at Withrow Park. (note the tree hugger!) I don't want fall to end!

"Oh Auntie Em, there's NO place like home!"

Our street is looking stunning!

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Wedding day memories

October 22/11.

28 years ago today, Sam & I got married in Mum's livingroom. It was a fantastic and fun day! Cheers Sam! Ever since then, it's been quite the roller coaster ride, hasn't it?

Gorgeous white lace gown, over pink raw silk, (and stunning veil), all designed and made especially for me by the late, great Uncle Ev. Of course, I still have it. He modelled the gown after a picture I ripped out of a magazine as a teenager. At the time, I told him I wanted a lacy gown just like it. A decade later, he still remembered that request and asked me for the picture so he could create the wedding dress! I didn't even recall what he was talking about, till I finally located the tattered old mag shot somewhere in a file in my office.

He was determined to make that fairy tale wedding gown dream come true for me. Thanks for everything Uncle Ev!

Since Sam doesn't enjoy having his picture taken (I'm lucky he allowed me to use the wedding portrait here), - I posed for an anniversary photo on my own. This is a park around Sherbourne & Carlton, where I was waiting to pick Kate up from a training class for a job.

A man cutting thru the park offered to take this pic.

His name is Ezra. (he happened to be in the background of the photo I tried to take of myself, with the camera propped on top of the car. Who IS this guy, Forrest Gump??) LOL.

I took one of Ezra too! (kind of by accident, when I forgot to take the camera off 10 second automatic shot mode, - so quickly turned the Canon digi-cam on him!) Guess I surprised him!

(After this, he surprised ME, by asking for my number! (Hit it again, Shatner, - "Weird or WHAT???") Told him I didn't think that would be appropriate on my wedding anniversary! Then he walked off into the sunset).
FYI - I've actually been thinking about buying a ticket to see William Shatner in concert at Massey Hall on November 3rd. Not sure I can resist!
The man is magic - "Denny Crane!!")

Later, Sam came home with a gorgeous bouquet of fall flowers for me.

Not to mention, the funniest anniversary card I've had in years! At the height of my current love of short skirts, tight tops, black lace and kick-ass Marilyn pumps, he gave me this greeting card with a black & white shot of a prim & proper old Victorian lady, hair piled high in an insane bun, all next to a prudish pair of long, white gloves, a mousey string of white pearls and a conservative cameo! Boy, was I laughing. (the only thing I AM likin' is the lace!!) The message inside was beautiful, to make up for the hilarity on the front, but can't wait for Carrie to see this card. (It actually brought tears to my eyes when I thought of the fact that I can't show the card to MUM! She would have been in stitches, lemme tell ya!) Thanks for the laughs Sam!

Later, my parents-in-law, joined us for a special dinner at The Mandarin to celebrate! (left to right, my son, Max, me, Jean & Ben Bornstein)

What are the odds that I would have the best parents-in-law in the world, AND the world's greatest kids, Kate & Max? (check out all the greeting cards we got tonight for my birthday and our anniversary!)

On top of that, the folks at The Mandarin brought us two pieces of black forest cake with candles on top! (we were so stuffed, we had to take them home!)

All in all, a great day!

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