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.

Stunning!

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.
F-f-f-FREEZING!!!!!!!!
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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2 Comments:

At October 31, 2011 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous Rachelle Desrosiers said...

Hi Elaine, loved your photo's from Niagara Falls and Bob's award. Loved him on Global.
If you don't mind what hotel did you stay at, the view looks so beautiful.

Thanks,
Rachelle Desrosiers
brkittens@sympatico.ca

 
At November 1, 2011 at 1:15 AM , Anonymous Elaine Loring said...

Hello Rachelle,
Thank you for the sweet message. Glad you have fond memories of Bob.
My hotel was the Marriott by the Falls.
And yes, it was beautiful!

 

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