Friday, September 29, 2023

Never the Twain I'll meet

HARLEY I'M HOME: Twain aboard her "flying horse." I think the singer
would feel at home on my bike, too.
I hope Shania--when she sees me in the audience next month--doesn't get thrown off her game. 

You forgetting what rhymes with "under" or--worse--instead of singing "no one needs to know right now," she'll be like, "Helena doesn't need to know right now." (Editor's note to editor's wife: Just joking! Ha-Ha!)

can only go up from here

But anything's possible, right? And a lot of people will have ponied up good money for the show. I'd feel horrible if I muck it up for them. 

I'll explain why in a minute but for now you need to know that on Sunday, October 22, my sister Mary and I will be attending the Shania concert at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. 

Mary, another Shania afficionado, had been given two tickets to the show by our generous big sister Bertholde and for my birthday, Mary graciously asked me to join her. 

I literally had to fight back tears and I would not write that unless it was true. 

I have the world's greatest sisters. 

Furthermore and I find  this next part hard to believe. I have never seen Shania live. 

I came really close a few times. One morning back in 2013 I was walking through a basement corridor of a Vegas hotel when I heard Any Man of Mine coming from an empty rehearsal space. At about 10 a.m.! Was that really Northern Ontario's own Eilleen Regina Edwards warming up?

SHANIA TWIN: I did not include Stacey Whitton-Summers
in this blog just so I could make another twin pun
but I woulda.
I followed the music, found the room and was greeted, proudly I should add, by a woman about my age who told me she was the proud mom of Shania tribute act Stacey Whitton-Summers, whose voice I was hearing. 

I just remembered. I also once met Waylon Jenning's brother Bo.

I got considerably closer two decades earlier. 

I was working for the Financial Post. A story assignment had me visit the central Ontario village of Midland and while there I was driving a rented car eastbound along highway 12 and heard--for the first time--on the local c&w station Kixx 106 --Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? I remember the deejay saying that the singer, a newcomer to the country charts, Shania Twain, had recently performed at the nearby Deerhurst Inn, in Muskoka.

My discovery of Shania is a matter of public record, and we have a clipping of it somewhere in the house. Believe it or not, a few days after I got back from that trip, I was approached by a photographer and reporter with the Toronto Sun for a Man on the Street interview. (Who doesn't live for those moments?)

The reporter asked me what music I'd been listening to recently and I said something along the lines of "a new Canadian singer named Shania Twain."

Also working at the Financial Post was a woman named Patty-Lou Andrews. Not only was she my age, she was also Shania's personal friend and helping the rising star with publicity and the press.  

Patty Lou--to whom I immediately took a liking because my oldest niece is Patty Lou and I'm extremely proud of her--then invited me to go hear and meet her pal Shania, who was playing later that evening an hour away, in Hamilton.

Full disclosure? Andrew was single and I wasn't. 

An evening in a bar with Patty Lou, Shania and Peter was a terrific idea but so far out of the question it doesn't even warrant a question mark.

Staying home was the right thing to have done. 



I would have liked to have tracked own Patty Lou and ask how the evening went. Did she perhaps tell Shania about a young editor who thought she was so talented? And then did she show the newspaper clip of my Man on the Street interview and then did they use that to help promote the darling of Area Code 705 to the absolute heavenly heights of stardom?

Am I partially responsible for Shania's success? 

I can't ask Patty Lou. Sadly, she died young, at 46, and Shania included dedications to her on a few albums.

I know. 

I'll ask the singer herself next month when we finally see each other.  

Unless--after she recognizes me--things go south.  


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