|SUDBURY, ONTARIO: It just occurred to me, after all these years,|
what the "SO" stood for. And you're surprised I still believe in Santa?
When I was a very young kid growing up in Sudbury, Ont., we had two TV stations: CKSO and CKNC. Three if you were French.
The two we Carters mostly watched were CBC and CTV affiliates and one of them — CKSO which I believe was the CBC station — was broadcast out of a studio located at the very top of the street that I grew up on.
Twice in my life did I visit that mysterious and exciting place; both times to appear on TV.
One of those visits involved lining up to see Santa Claus to tell him what I wanted for Christmas. I and my pal who came with me were in the latter half of our elementary-school years; a fact not lost on the man in red.
When we got to the podium, he leaned in and whispered, “How old are you boys anyway?”
We told him. Santa said, “You’re a little old for this sort of thing aren’t you?” (He was a fraud. The real McCoy would never have said anything so klutzy.)
The only other time I remember visiting the studio, I did so as part of what might be called a gang.
Like a lot of local TV stations, the Sudbury broadcaster produced a live after-school kids’ show, featuring a local host who somehow entertained small groups of visiting kids, for 15 minutes or a half hour at a time. I’m talking versions of Razzle Dazzle or Tiny Talent Time, two big-time shows with actual budgets and paid professional talent. (Meantime, if anybody out there can remember what the local hosts did to keep the visiting audiences amused, I’d like to hear it.)
I recall two Sudbury versions of said children's shows: Hub’s Club and Cook’s Clubhouse. The latter was hosted by a local personality named Joe Cook.
|HUB-A-DUB-DUB: A recipe for success in Sudbury?|
Good looks and hockey scars
The other host was Hub Beaudry, who before becoming a Sudbury TV personality, had a brief career as a kick-ass major junior hockey player, a detail that you should never forget makes a Canadian job seeker’s resume sparkle; as in, “Mmmm. It says here you played right wing for the London Knights? Was that the ’86 Knights or the later, more defence-oriented squad? Doesn’t matter. You can start as bank president Thursday.” And I know nothing about hockey.
(But I digress.)
(But I digress.)
For me, far more significant than his hockey career was the fact that Hub Beaudry sometimes attended and took up the collection at St. Clement’s Roman Catholic Church, the parish we Carters spent so much of our time at. Yes, a local TV celebrity attended St. Clement’s.
And that gang of kids that showed up for Hub’s Club? Most of us were altar boys. (Now there’s a position it’s safe to leave off the old c.v.—ed.)
We were all in grade six or seven. Hub mentioned that we looked familiar.
|NO ANGELS HERE: Beneath the surface of every altar boy you'll find a|
a potty mouthed felon. Exhibit A: The Hub's Cub joke.
Exhibit B: I swiped these photos off the Internet
And we may have been altar boys, but we weren’t wusses.
Case in point: Hub asked us if we knew any good jokes.
“What’s hairy,” one of my altar-boy colleagues asked, “and sticks out of your pajamas?”
Sensing danger, Hub quickly moved the microphone away.
But not fast enough.
The jokester — who I proudly add remains my friend to this day — yelled, “your head!”
Now that was entertainment.
I was the Duck Swabber on Cook’s Clubhouse. Joe and Carl St John were the other ones.