Happy Journeys Mom June 7, 1931 – November 3, 2011

November 19th was Mom’s sendoff party. Five out of six grandchildren attended, six great grandchildren and my brother and I, with our spouses, plus many friends and some Condo mates. Mom would have loved it. One thing I learned is how much a person is remembered

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and loved for their idiosyncrasies for example: feeding kids Smarties so they get smarter (wink-wink), sending postcards with birds on it to a granddaughter because she is named Robin, paying quarters for correct Jeopardy answers, dressing in cleavage displaying leopard fabrics, and sewing/weaving through calves liver with bacon. Mom loved to swim and called on all the Condo ladies every morning to head off to the pool. She also enjoyed the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington every year, playing Rummy Cubes,

reading, big family dinners with lots of kids running around. She would have loved the rouladen, red cabbage, cabbage rolls, spaezle, Schnizel, potato salad, and cheese cake served at her sendoff. She would have liked hearing her granddaughter singing You are my Sunshine. Most of all she would have loved all her great and grand children. Happy trails Mom. Auf wiedersehen.

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Last Chance for Paris wins Hamilton Award for YA Book

The biggest win wasn’t the cheque, although thank you very much to Reliable Life Insurance for sponsoring my groceries for a week. (We eat a lot too and there may be crabs’ legs this week) The amazing gift was that Ron Ulrich, Managing Artistic Director of Theatre Aquarius, read chapter six from Last Chance from Paris. Imagine listening to seven minutes of a readingof your own work as you’re standing in front of an audience. He originally trained as an actor with the National Theatre School of Canada and

his rendition was nothing short of spectacular. You could feel the level of respect for children’s literature and my book rising as he continued. It’s difficult for writers to appreciate their own work when they’ve written and rewritten a piece and they’ve received all the reviews or (sometimes not received enough reviews) and gone through “recessionary” royalty statements. But his reading made me appreciate my own talent. It also made me think that literature needs to make use of every platform, whether electronic or auditory, to keep up the passion for the original medium: pages.

I enjoyed listing to all the readings but especially a surprise performance by Burlington Slam Poetry http://burlingtonslam.wordpress.com/. Apparently they host poetry readings every third Thursday of the month at Philthy McNasty’s, cover charge of $5 goes to the winning poet. I will definitely make a point of going.
The end of the evening featured a reading of the winning adult fiction, Trevor Cole’s Practical Jean, another book I must acquire. Life is never better than when you have a stack of books at your bedside ready for your enjoyment. Thank you Hamilton Arts Council and Ron Ulrich!

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