End of Summer…uh, but not quite!

Sailing with Jane Bunnett & Maqueque. Cubans don't really get to sail back home!

Sailing with Jessica Pelchat, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque. Cubans don’t really get to sail back home!

Wow – time flies. This summer was busier than ever – seriously – I have never been so busy in my 51 years of summers! Festivals to emcee, safaris to host…so busy in fact that I’ve only gone sailing ten times! (I imagine your wee fingers are playing the worlds smallest violin for me right about now.)

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Star, Betty and Titan!

Star, Betty and Titan!

I spent my “last weekend of the summer” up in Muskoka staying at Deerhurst and enjoying time with Jessica and her son Hayden…as well as catching up with one of my best friends, Gil Blutrich, whose company, Skyline Investment, owns the place.

Deerhurst!

Deerhurst!

 

Muskoka magic.

Forest reflected and up-side-down-ified!

Gil showed us a magical forest, kinda off the grid!

Gil showed us a magical forest, kinda off the grid!

 

They are working on an impressive condo up there – and I look forward to sharing info about this in a future blog,

Magic Land

Magic Land

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I didn't see a Leprechaun per se...

I didn’t see a Leprechaun per se…

On the way back to Toronto we had brunch with Ross Porter and his wife Denise at their cottage. Jessica and Hayden loved their cute dogs and it was the best breakfast any of us had in many moons: lox and bagels, potato pancakes, fresh fruit – the table looked like a photograph and a foodie mag!

Two Nelsons!

Two Nelsons!

We also stopped by the home of Nelson Thall…my old pal. Nelson Jr. is a business man but I was glad to hear he still enjoys playing drums all the time. He studied with Great Bob Scott as a kid and I’m thinking anyone lucky enough to experience Bob as a youth probably stays excited about music forever.

Great Bob has always cracked me up!

Great Bob has always cracked me up!

One more thing happened on the way home…weird story…

Jessica knows me well; so after noticing a yardsale in Beeton she pulled right over. I jumped out and looked around…finding only a glass banana to purchase. I told the woman, “I have a friend who collects glass…it’s kind of a joke gift.” She says, “a guy who collects glass? What’s his name, maybe I know him.” I explained: “oh you wouldn’t know this guy…he lives in Toronto and I doubt he’s been around here”. She calls out to her sister: “What’s the name of that guy who collects glass? Remember that story you told me?” Her sister walks out of the house on to the yard and says “Arthur Dalfen”.

King Arthur!

King Arthur!

Jessica breaks up laughing (she knows Arthur too) and we both stare at each other and yell “Random!” (I think that word is over used but it was entirely appropriate on this occasion and we both knew it!) I explained that King Arthur is a very close friend and that I talk to him all the time and have seen his glass collection grow. She tells me she met him walking down the street and offered to help him carry some bags up to his Yorkville condo. They spent an hour chatting and she lost his contact info.” When I called Arthur to tell him he said “What are the odds of that? 50,000 to 1?

It's a real sweet treat to see sweet Janelle Monique!

It’s a real sweet treat to see sweet Janelle Monique!

 

Molly Johnson and Ross Porter meet the Jazz Safari donors at Poetry Jazz Cafe in Kensington Market!

Molly Johnson and Ross Porter meet the Jazz Safari donors at Poetry Jazz Cafe in Kensington Market!

I got to see Barbra Lica sing in Markham, Niagara and on my safari...three times in eight days?  I'm so lucky!

I got to see Barbra Lica sing in Markham, Niagara and on my safari…three times in eight days? I’m so lucky!

Two McLeans at one gig in Unionville? I'll take it!

Two McLeans at one gig in Unionville? I’ll take it!

I also was emcee of The Markham Jazz Festival (for the ninth year) in downtown Unionville and had a blast as always. I was emcee of The Niagara Jazz Festival just last week and for a first year effort, they did a great job! The best part of the festival was the gala at Jackson-Triggs Estate.

I'm getting a hi-res to replace this tomorrow! ;-)

I’m getting a hi-res to replace this tomorrow! 😉

The amphitheater on their property is now my favourite outdoor venue in Ontario! John Sherwood, Heather Bambrick, Barbra Lica and John Neudorf played the mainstage and other musicians played all around the property.

I hope they throw the same type of event next year in Niagara – it was brilliant!

THE EX!  Like most summers; I took in The Ex just once, but had a lot of fun. I always like to go with someone who is crazy about bad food, rides that make you sick, losing loonies to lame games and being lost in a sea of locals and tourists…and this year it was a couple of my gal pals from Cuba that were up for the challenge!

That's a lot of sugar for gals so sweet!

That’s a lot of sugar for gals so sweet!

IMG_7742 One gave sage advice after a dizzy ride: “Let’s look at the faces of people getting off the ride before we decide if we want to get on it!” They couldn’t believe the size of the pogos and tried cotton candy for the first time. It was surreal fun to see The Ex through their eyes.

Silver Elvis sighting at The Buskerfest Ball!

Silver Elvis sighting at The Buskerfest Ball!

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Also in the past wee while I finished a video with Don Francks for a new show Don Dixon is pitching called “Live at Asylum Artists”. I’ve never been so pleased with a live video shoot and I hope to have more news about this exciting project in the next month.

And now, Film Festival, more Jazz Festivals, sailing and a ton of Jazz Fm biz..I worked really hard this summer and I’m not complaining because getting back into the swing of things is a no-brainer…haven’t stopped swinging since April! 😉

Finally…on a sad note…I say REST IN PEACE to the great Reiner Schwartz. We worked at JAZZ.FM91 together a while and he was outrageous and brilliant as a broadcaster and a poet. He had a great influence on me and came out to many of my events to read, or just watch! 

 

 

 

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