Alan spent some time in Toronto, where he would eventually spend most of his life while I stayed in Montreal cadging off my mother and father and moving from one of their apartments to the other. It was a miserable time for all of us. My father managed to get me hired at The Canadian Press bureau in Hospital Street next to the Montreal and Canadian Stock Exchanges, but it was not the job for me.
At first, I was confident on hearing the news. At the Montreal Star and The Gazette had CP staffers on duty every day. They would take carbon copies of the newspaper stories and re-write them in CP style, which I was confident I could do, having done similar work at the Ontario Intelligence and the Chatham Daily News.
Of course being in the CP bureau, in the narrow, cramped streets of Old Montreal, south of Notre Dame, was a thrill in itself, bringing back those old romantic Dickensian feelings I had when I was a messenger boy for Rapid, Grippe and Batten four years before. Inside the bureau, it was noisier than any editorial office I have been in before or since, though no different from any wire room of any newspaper. But in this case 20 journalists and typewriters would be interspersed between the constantly clattering teletype machines. Only Bill Stewart, the grim-faced bureau chief, had an office with a pane glass windowed door, could shut himself off from the constant din.
I was given the lofty title Financial Editor. I knew the job involved numbers, but I wasn't aware that was entirely numbers. The numbers came from what I called the "paper python", the tickertape machine that spewed a constant stream of stock codes and numbers, something like "//BT-2 1/4//QNG+1 3/4", from which one had to know that BT stood for Bell Telephone and that it was down from the previous quotation by two and a quarter points and similarly Quebec Natural Gas was up one and three quarter points. The fellow who showed me how the job was done was unsympathetic, not the way I would have shown a newcomer an unfamiliar task. But while it was the first time I encountered such malevolence in journalism, it wasn't the last.
As far the writing goes, that it was easy if repetitive - so much so that remember what I wrote morning, noon and night to this day
MONTREAL (CP) - Stocks were moderately higher this morning at the opening of the Montreal and Canadian stock exchanges.
Industrials were up one half while utilities dropped a quarter. Among speculative mines and oils, Keena Gold dropped 10 cents ... etc.
About the only thing I learned from the experience was that one hits the space bar three times to indent a paragraph CP style. At the end of the first week, it was clear to all including myself that if that were the only job at CP, then I was the epitome of incompetence. And that was the job they gave everyone who came in before they moved them on, I was told later.
My father's job was now at risk. When he started, there was much talk of him taking over the Gazette as editor, but nothing was to come of it. There seemed to be a battle between the incumbent managing editor and the Alan Randal, who was my managing editor when I was a copyboy there two years before. He did not want to go. While he was running the paper in a dramatically different way, he was not delivering any increase in circulation or advertising vis-a-vis the Montreal Star.
Then there was also Brodie Snyder, the booming news editor and deputy managing editor, who wanted the job. He was a superb technician who could hold the fort under the most desperate conditions. And my father who was only a deskman, but also a man of recognised genius in editing newspapers, even my mother who hated him, said so.
Randal had run the Gazette his way for more than five years. He was a skillful news executive and radically changed the paper's appearance from the stolid New York Times tombstone look it had had since the 1920s. While circulation increased to 140,000, it merely reflected Montreal's postwar growth and kept its usual distance from it the growth of its rival, the Montreal Star, then at 180,000 circulation. If anything, the gap widened.
What's more the Montreal Star could grow to 105 broadsheet pages on a Wednesday while the Gazette did about 64. The Star had three correspondents in Ottawa; the Gazette had one. The Star had two in Quebec City and the Gazette had one. Moreover, the Star had correspondents in New York, Washington, London, Paris and Bonn, while the Gazette had nothing outside Canada, but wire service coverage. The editorial staff of the Star was 150 compared to 50 at the Gazette.
The choice facing the Gazette in the wake of sacking Randal, was to chose my father, another innovator like Randal, who had no plan and wanted to feel his way to know what to do. Or Brodie Snyder who knew what to do, but that largely carry on as before but remove the cosmetic changes introduced by Randal to streamline the operation. Snyder was the booming newspaperman's newspaperman of the 1930s movies, but with none of the nuance to engage the intellects that made up the Montreal newspaper reading public. For example, the minority English-speaking population of predominantly French speaking Montreal purchased more hardcover books than the vastly more numerous majority English-speaking population of Toronto.
So when it came out in the wash that the Gazette did not choose another innovator to replace Randal, and I was almost approving that they chose the mild mannered financial editor John Meyer, who I had known in passing since my days at elementary school. I went to school with his son Geoffrey, and later in life had much to do with his other son Noel and hankered after his daughter Stella for a time and often gave her rides on my bicycle around Westmont's Staynor Park.
Although John Meyer was far from the rootin' tootin' newspaperman that Brodie was or the "tabloid genius" my father was, he was a sensible fellow who knew business and economics and could speak well enough to butcher the arguments of Harvard's tenured Marxist professor at a Concordia University debate.
Looking back, I can see that my father's success shared parallels with my lesser brushes with professional triumph. Each came and under similar conditions. In my case, someone quit and I was appointed temporarily charge. No one expected anything of me before they got around to appoint someone else they actually liked as I was the choice of the departed person. My father's signal success came when he found himself in charge of a newspaper at long last, rising through the ranks as people quit. The newspaper was the Montreal Herald, which no one cared about, not even its owner. Yet my father managed from 1940 to 1947 to increase its circulation from 15,000 to 50,000. Granted, he had World War II to help as troops from across the country were funnelled in Montreal before being assigned ships and sent to Halifax to join convoys for overseas. I took over Amazing Hong Kong, a magazine that circulated in hotel rooms, much the same way. Again, the man who ran it quit and I happened to be next up.
In both cases, these promotions, such as they were, were not thought of promotions, but stopgaps. Promotions are bestowed on favorites, from whom success is expected. Success, particularly spectacular success, from an unexpected quarter, is often disconcerting to the powers that be because it wasn't expected and from which no credit accrues to superiors. In such cases failure may well be preferred to success as it enlarges the superior's role. Conversely, success from an unexpected quarter within one's domain may well be regarded as a threat.
Quite reasonably, most journalists thought of my father as a tabloid genius. A tabloid is the small newspaper format. Simply fold a broadsheet, a large format newspaper as it is sold. Turn such a newspaper from the horizontal rectangle into a vertical one, and presto! You have the shape and dimensions of a tabloid newspaper.
Its virtue and its fault is its singular impact. Big headlines and big pictures on a smaller page can attract many more readers than a multiplicity of small headlines and pictures on a larger page the broadsheet presents. But for the smaller tabloid front page, it all depends on what headlines and pictures one presents on any given day.
My father, was 19 in 1928 long before he had such thoughts. He and his year older brother Frank fled St John's, Quebec (since frenchified as St- Jean-sur-Richelieu), for New York City. My fierce Catholic grandmother, determined to uphold her side of the bargain with the Church to raise her two sons Catholic as a condition of marrying my Protestant grandfather John McCormick, an "inventor" with the Singer Sewing Machine Company, had her heart set in having her boys join the Dominicans. But instead they took their canoe and paddled up the Richelieu River into Lake Champlain and then down the Hudson to New York.
I understand they signed on at Manhattan College, a Jesuit institution, undoubtedly to cadge money from my grandfather and placate my grandmother, who must have been enraged at their disappearance. But other than that brief contact with academe, they entered the local economy, my father as a legman for a New York Daily Mirror gossip columnist and then as a writer of picture captions. Uncle Frank, who was a Golden Gloves champion boxer, got a job collecting money for a loan shark, then branched off into insurance sales, shortly to return to Montreal where he prospered in that field until his death four years after I was born.
Impulsively, my father left for Kansas City, Missouri, on hearing the Kansas City Star was to become a tabloid, he having his own ideas about how to exploit the new format. He had become thoroughly enamoured of tabloids while working on the Mirror, which was the second daily tabloid after the creation of the New York Daily News in 1920, the first daily in the US, though the London Daily Mirror (no relation) was a tabloid as early as 1910.
As his Kansas City dream was not to be, he returned to Montreal and managed to get himself a job on the sports desk at the ailing Montreal Herald in 1932.
The Montreal Herald was Montreal's first daily in 1811, though not for long. The Gazette, which has been founded by Ben Franklin and owned by Fleury Mesplet in 1778 as an organ of the American Revolutionary forces until the British forces arrived the following year, had not quite moved to daily publication, though did so immediately after the Herald appeared. Fiercely Protestant, the Herald was forbidden to Catholics, and bolstered the British position in the War of 1812 against the Americans, who were selling goods to Napoleonic France, with which British North America, that is, Canada, was a war.
But the Herald's days of glory had long gone by the 1930s. Its most loved feature was the early race results. It was said to be tax write-off for its owner John McConnell, who had taken possession of it as a small part of a larger purchase, which included an enormous sugar refinery. McConnell had no interest in the Herald, but he was passionate about the health and wealth of his Montreal Star, over whose leading lead editorial, he inscribed the slogan "Canada's Greatest Newspaper".
My father's poor eyesight prevented him from serving in World War II, but he was commissioned in the reserve Le Regiment de Chateauguay as a lieutenant. He then made an argument that the paper be turned into a tabloid, and McConnell absent-mindedly allowed him to do it.
From the age of 23 in 1931 my father rose in the ranks over the years as one editor after another came and went until he was at last in the saddle at the age 32, and could run the show himself - his way. My mother remembered the process as one editor quitting and everyone moving up a notch and they hired a new copyboy.
My mother, Marian Stewart Whitehouse, grew up between Boston and New York, the daughter of a man who when I was a child had a small company in Boston that supplied metal fittings for US Navy PT boats. My mother came to Montreal to attend McGill University in 1938, when it was about to be drained of men in that period when Canada was in the war and the United States was not.
She got a summer job in the women's and entertainments departments as a junior journalist at the age of 18 at the Gazette. Her mother, who flitted from one Protestant denomination to another, insisted that her father not pay her another penny when it was discovered that she had left the women's residence, Royal Victoria College, to share a flat in what in later years became known as the McGill Student Ghetto, or simply the Ghetto, and was photographed in something called a "beer jacket", a white medical jacket decorated with stenciled beer labels.
But when the leaves began to fall there was no permanent job for her at The Gazette, so she applied to the Herald. She was most impressed with my father's handsome office in the 10-storey red brick building with giant letters HERALD inscribed along the upper row of windows. His office was carpeted with walls covered with handsome prints and a couple of oils as well as a couple of thousand hardcover books. They were mostly review copies he had accumulated over the better part of a decade, as he was one of the few journalists who read books - as indeed I find myself to be 70 years later.
By all accounts, my mother was the reigning beauty of the day - certainly in Montreal media. Montreal was certainly the most sophisticated place in Canada and in terms of wealth the second city in the British Empire. While Montrealers felt that to take a step off the Island of Montreal was to take a step down in the world, they would still tip their hats to New York and give grudging respect to toney Boston, the "land of the bean and the cod where the Cabots only speak to the Lodges and the Lodges only speak to God".
They swept each other of their feet, if that can be imagined. My father dumped the undertaker's daughter he had been romancing, and fell for this beauty who seemed to be an incarnation of New York wit Dorothy Parker, having all the character and forceful of personality to take her to the top, where she mistakenly thought my father was heading too. And for a year or two they were the most glamourous couple in Montreal, according to William Weintraub, who wrote books about newspapering in the era.
And then I came along to spoil it.
When she became pregnant, they married and moved into a garage, refitted as an apartment, on Lincoln Avenue, the wartime housing shortage being what it was. This made little difference to my father, who largely lived at the office anyway having a couch and a blanket there. He could always bathe in the flat he recently shared with two others, his brother Frank and another journalist, ex-Mountie, Walter Turner, a place my mother disparagingly called his "tree house" on Burnside Avenue opposite a small grocery store to which orders for more beer were shouted across the street. My mother also made another disheartening discovery. His truly impressive office, while not a facade, because it was more important to him than the flat he shared, was no indication of his wealth as she assumed it to be, being entirely sustained by a salary of $75 a week, about as much as what any senior journalist would get at the Montreal Star.
Not that she minded at first. She was sure that together, with her social climbing instincts and Dorothy Parker wit and his newspaper genius they could go far. It was a reasonable expectation - if he were to co-operate. To her the Herald was a mere stepping stone - but to him, it was everything.
But after June 19, 1944, when I was born she was grounded and he was not going to make the changes that that would assist in her alpine adventure, scaling the heights of Westmount to Summit Circle.
She found a house on Redfern Avenue above St Catherine in Westmount that worked financially if he participated in the operation. But his newspaper and life were downtown. After that, the crevices in their marriage widened.
We then moved to Ridgewood, which was far away from downtown, but at least other journalists lived there. What's more May Cutler, an ex-Herald reporter, who later became the Mayor of Westmount, married Phil Cutler, then a labour lawyer but later a Quebec Superior Court judge, lived there too. They were all former McGill Daily staffers like my mother, they all knew Frank Scott, the poet and Hugh MacLennan, the author. But this was less important to my father than knowing all the top mobsters who dominated the news of the day.
So they broke up, my mother eeking out a living as a freelancer, eventually having a 10-minute daily commentary on CBC radio, doing occasional documentaries and freelance articles for various publications as well as being a public relations officer for the YMCA, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
My father lost his job at the Herald in what elsewhere and in another age would have been a triumph, but was a disaster from which his life took a downward turn with a five-year upturn before it resumed its southbound journey to his eventual, and in retrospect, needless suicide.
In the age of Al Capone at least his heirs and successors, the big newsmakers of the day came from the world of organised crime. In those days, Italians didn't count for much locally. The Irish ran the docks and transport when Montreal was the biggest port in North America outside New York. The French ran the muscle, protection and armed robbery. But the Jews ran the big and regular money - gambling.
But the politics dominating the Jewish underworld had taken a complex turn in that summer of 1946 when a vital character called Harry Davis, known as the "edgeman" was growing too powerful. The edgeman's principle role was to pay off the police and any nosey prosecutor or judge who was making difficulties for the syndicate, which wasn't a single business, but a fractious confederation of independent operators, who had to pay 20 per cent of the take of their gambling dens to Harry Davis for his protection services.
Enter Louis Bercovitch the hitman, hired by a coalition of Harry's recalcitrant clients. First, Louis shot Harry Davis dead and went off to a bar called Slitkins & Slotkins near the old Provincial Transport bus terminal on Dorchester (since Frenchified as Rene Levesque). There Louis lurked perhaps waiting for a call or someone to arrive. There he was spotted by Herald reporter Al Palmer who had deep underworld contacts. He sidled up to Louis for a what's-up talk, but thinking his reaction was strange Al called my father at the office. My father told Al the town was gunning for Louis, the mob as well as the police was anxious to shoot him while escaping. They feared Louis knew too much and would tell all he knew about official corruption - which was plenty to avoid the gallows that did a brisk business back then.
My father told Al Palmer to get Louis out of Slitkin's & Slotkin's as it was a favoured by the fight game and the underworld, and that police were bound to call. Al acquainted Louis with his bleak situation suggested he first get out of the bar and go to the reporter's sister's place on Shuter Street (now Aylmer) in the McGill Ghetto.
Hearing this, my father pried the keys of his city editor's 1946 Packard convertible. Walter Turner, the big ex-Mountie, prized his Packard more than his friendship with my father and held on to the keys with a death-like grip, bowing at last to my father's dire threats.
When Dad reached Al Palmer's sister's place, he realised it was only a matter of time before the cops made the connection between Al and Louis, and the last thing he wanted was gunplay on Shuter Street. Getting Louis to agree to go to the Herald was an easy sell, and they got him into the Packard with its top down on that sweltering day in July.
Unfortunately, putting the top up was beyond my father's technical competence, so he told Louis to lie down on the back seat and keep out of sight. The town was filled with cops and gunsels making common cause to kill Louis Bercovitch.
All was going well until they slid up to a red light at St Catherine and Bleury. On the corner there was a gathering of gendarmes arrayed like Paris flics on the corner. While waiting for the light to change, a streetcar came alongside and through an open window a little boy looking down at Louis lying on back seat noisily asked his mother why this was so. By this time a number of passengers were volubly wondering the same thing. But the light changed and the cops and failed to notice anything amiss and the tram and my father and his cargo moved on unnoticed.
Having received a call from Walter Turner, my mother managed to get a sitter for me and rushed to the office. I was just 2 at the time. There she joined the other crew of girls who prepared to look busy if and when the cops arrived - a scheme Walter Turner devised while anxiously waiting for his precious car to return. It seemed only a matter of time before the police would make the connection to the Herald and would soon be there to search the office.
As a newspaper, the Herald faced a problem vis-a-vis its rivals one of which was its owner, the Montreal Star. The other was its other true rival, the Gazette. Of course, there were the French dailies, La Presse, Montreal Matin, and Le Devoir, but they didn't matter, as the "two solitudes" as the French and English communities were sometimes regarded, had few cultural cross-overs and Jewish mafia murders were definitely in the English domain.
It being 2:30pm, the Star would cease to be a problem within two hours as its final deadline would be about 4pm. The real problem was the Gazette. The Herald came about noon - the next day - so if the story was to be an exclusive, which was its chief value, it would have to keep until midnight when the Gazette went to bed. That was a long time to keep Louis on ice.
As soon as my father arrived and sat Louis down at his desk, when sirens blared signalling the arrival of the police. My father quickly stuffed Louis under his desk as the later chief of detectives, Inspector William Fitzpatrick, demanded my father tell him where he had stashed Louis as he had been seen with Al Palmer, who could not be found.
The quote that survives to this day is my father telling "Fitz": "I am not in the habit of keeping criminals under my desk!"
A dozen police were deployed on the search. They spent hours searching the eight-storey building Keystone Cops style like a pack of dogs each man going over the same ground that the others had. When the coast was clear in the editorial department which is frequently was, Louis was spirited into the women washroom. So were photographers and typewriter tables and reporters with prepared written questions from my father and Al Palmer who had made telephone contact from an undisclosed location.
Whenever a cop looked like he might enter the women's jon, a haughty female would ostentatiously enter as one would exit with a distasteful sniff. Of course the police, so bent on finding Louis or Al were not looking at the preparations for the newspaper itself, not the copy or photo flow. Enough time had at last passed to risk the Gazette getting the story and Louis was surrendered to the police. He showed himself in handcuffs to a blaze of camera flashes and a reporter and a photographer accompanied Louis and the police entourage down to No 1 police headquarters not three minutes’ drive, so I was impossible to shoot him while escaping without serious questions being asked.
But rather than being feted for the scoop by the owner of the newspaper, John McConnell, fired him "consorting with criminals" not something an editor of a "family newspaper" should do. Perhaps consorting with criminals was accurate, though with serious mitigating circumstances, but calling the Herald a family newspaper was inaccurate as it had ceased to be any such thing for five years, coming out at noon and being a lunch time newspaper for five years during which time I was principally read by workers and soldiers who mustered in Montreal in the war years.
Ironically, Louis saved himself from the gallows not as so many feared he would, by telling all he could about the corruption in the police and courts, but by keeping his mouth shut about that very thing. His life sentence was over in 19 years after which he attended by father's parties and where I met him on several occasions. But this leniency in sentencing was noticed and together with other glaring miscarriages of justice, sparked the Caron Inquiry into Organised Crime and launched the political career of Montreal's greatest mayor Jean Drapeau you brought us a magnificent rubber-tired metro system in 1965, the World's Fair. Expo '67, and the Summer Olympics in 1976.
After that in 1947, there was three years at the Gazette where he had command of the local reporters as city editor, but it was not the Herald where he had overall direction of the newspaper. Here, he commanded the local pages, but the front pages were commanded by the news editor as it always is.
Still my mother thought that between them they could still make good on her quest to conquer Westmount. What's more, the respectable Gazette was a better base camp from which to make the assent than the tawdry Herald, which now was crippled with a press run ceiling imposed by the Montreal Star as well as standing order to submit carbon copies of its stories so it could never could scoop the Star again. A surviving quote ascribed to McConnell is: "I will not be outstripped by my bastard son." Ten years later the Herald folded, briefly becoming the "Montreal Star and Herald" before disappearing altogether.
If my father's crime in McConnell's eyes was consorting with criminals, in my mother's eyes, his crime was consorting with no-account journalists when he should be "cultivating useful people", as she did, buying and sharing a car with Gretta Chambers, later chancellor of McGill University, working for her husband Egan Chambers’ political campaign before he became associate minister of defence or smoozing with superior court judge Phil Cutler, and his wife May, later Mayor of Westmount. I was to see Leonard Cohen at her dinner parties as she vied to be the hostess with the mostest. Much to her mounting fury, my father avoided all this and sought the congenial company of the Montreal Men's Press Club. Without him as operational husband, her efforts were less camouflaged and she was beginning to look more like a vamp on the prowl. Bitterness grew between them and we began to see less of him.
Then he had a good run of luck and got a chance to indulge his secret passion - aviation - when he met Ron Riley, president of Pratt and Whitney Canada and was hired by him as his assistant, speech writer and PR man.
In the,'50s we lived on Ridgewood in one of the few former homes that has been left unchanged over the decades well into the new century. In 1956 came the love of his life, the sleek Jaguar XK140 convertible. It was a real racing car, twice winner of the Le Mans auto race in France. As a 13-year-old boy, I could sit in the front seat and touch the hub the rear wheel. It was a thrilling car and my father proved again and again that it could really go 140 miles per hour.
Cushioning the expense now that he was earning good money as assistant to the president of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, he was living the high life at the Chateau Apartments. Good as it was, he was living beyond his means and I noticed the demands for money piling up on corners and slots of his old-fashioned desk.
Then the highlife came to an end after six years. Riley was sacked or retired and Thor Stevenson, who did not like either Riley or my father, sacked him in 1961.
Luckily, he was picked up at the Gazette where there was talk of him taking over the editorial department as managing editor. But this came to nothing. He might well have stayed on as a deskman, but with no prospect of command, to redo the Gazette as he had redone Herald, life did not seem worth living. There was some talk of him joining the Star, but his prospect for command was less there than it would be at the Gazette. There was talk of him joining CTV news, but that seemed hopeless even as an idea.
March 28, 1965 was the day he died. As it happened, I was staying at his place as I did when I ended my day downtown rather than on Jeanne Mance where my mother lived.
I thought it strange the day my father left and kissed me passionately on the lips of what I took to be a weekend in the Laurentian Mountains at St Marguerite north of the city with his CBC bistro buddy Norm McBane. While I definitely thought the kiss was odd, never having had him do that before, I thought no more about it. I crossed the street to the Ritz that had an excellent newsstand where one could buy most everything of interest. I bought a Spectator or a New Statesman, I cannot remember which, and settled into a good read when the doorbell rang, and I rose to see a gristled old fellow who looked like a newspaperman down on his luck. He turned out to be Pete MacRitchie, once the ace of the Toronto Star sent to cover the 1927 Laurier Palace Theatre first by taking a cab all the way to Montreal.
Being a red letter day, Sunday, March 28, 1965, my log entry was in red ink, the only one that is spanning all those years.
My log continues: "Today, my father died in St Marguerite, Quebec, allegedly from a heart attack. [Later, it was an established as a sleeping pill suicide complete with note]. I supposed I must be numb because I don't feel anything. Perhaps while I am in this sane frame of mind, I might set down the events of the day.
"I woke up to hear the doorbell ringing. It was a chap called Pete MacRitchie, late of CP Toronto. He drank heavily and chatted about things in general.
At 2pm, there was another ring of the doorbell. It was Jean de Guise, of the Gazette. He said he wanted to pick up some story material he had forgotten. But not before he had a bath accompanied by a bottle of cognac, which like MacRitchie's scotch, was purlioned from my father's amply stocked liquor cabinet.
While Jean was in the bath, he called me in to speak privately, telling me to get MacRitchie out of the place because was a mooch. This coming from a guy swigging Dad's Remy Martin in the bath was a bit rich so I did no such thing.
An hour later Jean had departed and my brother Joel arrived.
“Dad is dead,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Not quite,” I replied, thinking that Joel was referring to the transfer from the Gazette to the Star. 'Jean de Guise told me that the formal move of quitting had not taken place. Why? Do you have anything additional information?'
“Dad is dead,” Joel repeated.
I still thought he meant it in some figurative sense. It was some before he managed to communicate the information, and even then, I thought he was joking.
As soon as I believed it, a strange feeling overcame me, as if I were being drained of blood. But it passed as quickly as it came.
My mother soon came over with Dave Bier, my father's old chief photographer at the Herald, and who still operated a successful photo studio in the Herald building. My mother, on the advice of Bier, grabbed what she could from the flat, the contents of which might well be seized to compensate creditors to whom my father owed some $50,000. Bier and my mother feared bailiffs sweeping in as they had done many times before.
My log bitterly reflects, "The vultures will feed on the carrion. Perhaps I am not being practical, but I thought a day or two would pass.
"I returned home with Joel. I watched some television and then Mom arrived with the booty.
Dave Bier was with her and was nearly in tears.
“Tiring of this, I returned to my father's place, when one of his CBC friends Noel Moore dropped over and took me to a nearby apartment on Stanley, where his girlfriend Bernice Telec fed me. I had something to eat. They went to bed. I can't sleep so wrote this."
Two days later I was summoned to the office of Walter O'Hearn, managing editor of the Montreal Star, and was offered a job as a reporter for $65 a week.