It’s hard to believe that a paper that is a staple of every book lover’s library just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Time’s simply run out. But that is the fleeting nature of the mind and the yearning to continue being part of our world while updating and retraining. History changes slowly, and a person comes and goes in a flurry of flashing infinitives and closing off with a short line. Those who recall were wise and classy enough to learn. Many lives were lost and new ones begun on this ship.
At the age of 50, when many retire, I retired. I retired as editor in chief of the then-Canadian Press. I didn’t just retire. I retired to become a full-time poet. Just finishing a long term project, i.e. about the Canadian art world. A little light was going to be his champion for a while. I reveled in having freedom and didn’t expect it to last.
But it lasted a long while. Just at a major moment, I retired. I had a friend, Colin Lowder, he with magnificent cheeks and tan skin. I still kept in touch. This summer I started a series with the Maclean’s.com about poetry and in this series I was going to be interviewed by Colin.
On the morning of October 30, after this series had already been completed, I was invited to a party on the upper floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was under the impression, I must have confused it with another drinking party. The hoster was Jennie Lesperance, the Canadian Press Managing Editor, she asked me what time it was, I told her that it was 2:30 p.m. Jennie was charming and she introduced me to Alistair Cooke.
She said, “Phil wants you to meet a special friend of his named Thomas Yanchak,” I was shocked, I had no idea what she was talking about. I walked up to him and introduced myself. He’s at the table with Alistair,