16 Feb 2017

The Vinyl Cafe is quiet...

The last couple of weeks have been busy and I was finishing up a few posts when I found out the following news: Stuart McLean has died after his battle with cancer.

He has been a part of my life since it got better when Lady Bear found me. We were looking for something we could share and the recordings of the Vinyl Café fit the bill very well. Our tastes and style were both able to enjoy and appreciate the craftsmanship of McLean's work. We grew to listen for a few weeks before Lady Bear surprised me with tickets to the 2010 Holiday Season show at the National Arts Center in Ottawa.

We made a date of it. Her love of Christmas and my dislike of the holiday were both appeased by the show. I was able to not kill Lady Bear's holiday spirit, get a whiff of it myself (and only a whiff), and we got to enjoy our time together. After the show we grabbed a bite and sauntered home to Lady Bear's flat in Westboro.

We expressed our joy of the event with friends and family and the rest of the Bears joined us the following years; from 2011 to 2014 we six Bears stopped off to see the holiday show four times - it become a tradition we only missed it once while Papa Bear was abroad. In 2015 our show was cancelled. Lucky for us we had not missed the 2014 show.

McLean announced he had melanoma in November and the 2015 holiday season was cut short. That holiday season the Bears spent the holiday's at Brother Bear's home in rural Hammond, outside of Ottawa. Missing the show came up at the table. We planned with the extended family to do it again next year when Stuart was feeling better... sadly 2016 was a quiet season.

Mr McLean your stories are heart warming and the epitome of the Canadian experience.

- Good bye