Java Cavanaugh


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Kurt collection. 

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Of The Pioneers of Selkirk communications. 

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The following interview with Jack Cavanaugh was recorded on January 28, 1978 by **** Meisner. 

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And an interview with Jack Kavanaugh. 

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Jack, good morning. I can’t. 

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Tell you how delighted I am to have you among many and many people that I’ve had an opportunity. 

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To talk with. 

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In the last few months. 

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If for no other reason, and there are lots of reasons, but if for no other reason that you were practically. 

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The first or one of the very first members of the organization. 

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I guess Harold Carson started. 

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And then became Taylor Pearson and Carson, and then an organization called All Canada Radio was became part of it. 

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And today, of course, the whole thing. 

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What year roughly do you recall having started with? 

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Harold Carson or I guess yes, I guess with Carson. 

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Well, with all Canada actually. And I remember February 1936. 

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Over 36. But you were with Harrison before that. 

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Prior to that. 

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I worked for. 

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Off and on that. 

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Scenography I took a course after the depression. 

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Oh yeah. 

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And then I got asked Carson if there was a chance. 

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I met him Monday in the hall. 

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And that’s your chance. 

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Getting the job with you. 

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And he said, oh, sure, we’re going to start transcriptions. 

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So he started to bring them in from CP McGregor, I guess. 

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It was, yes, yes. 

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And Evans, Ed. 

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House, McGregor and gardening. 

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Burbank way. 

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Nobody’s here today and. 

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So I started there at $40 a month, which was big money then, and I had more money to spend I think, than I did. 

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You better believe it. 

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Oh, on. 

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Well, now I get lots of money. 

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To spend it doesn’t bother. 

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Me, but before it was done? 

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And I started. 

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The first discs that ever came in and we had to clear. 

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Them through the customs. 

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And then all the fellow that started before me of course, would be Elf Gibson. 

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That was so respected throughout the organization, you know. 

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Yes, of course I remember. I remember’s name very well. I don’t think I. 

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Ever met him? 

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Though oh, he was Prince for gay. 

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And so he was the office manager and accountant and everything you see in Calvin. 

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This was in Calgary, not Lethbridge. 

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Oh, no. 

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Everything was accounted when Kirsten set up the all candid so. 

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Affiliated with the name in Winnipeg before it all canned it. 

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Was the United broadcast sales? 

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Even before UBS. 

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Ohh really? 

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And it’s something like all Canada. 

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But these. 

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Richardsons in Winnipeg had. 

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The the company. 

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Ohh yes, yes, yes, of course, yes. 

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So Jack, really when you think back on it from 1936? 

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To the time of your retirement. 

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Which was I think you said about four years ago, puts it at about 1974. 

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74 That’s about doing that retirement, yeah. 

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That’s a pretty fair span of time, isn’t it? 

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That’s a long. 

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Time you weren’t exactly jumping from job to job. 

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You kind of stayed put with the one company. 

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I sort of. 

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Stuck with it, which is a good thing. 

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Now I don’t have to worry, fair pension and. 

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Few things that I don’t have to worry about. 

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Money most demanding thing on your life these days, I gather, is whether or not it’s going to. 

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Be good for skiing tomorrow. 

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Well, that’s all I worry about is. 

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The weather now, which is not too bad. 

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Jack, who were among the first people. 

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In the organization at the time that that you joined Carl Carson, you spoke person Gainer as one of them. 

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First was in Calgary and I think he came from Lethbridge manager there and I think he managed to see if they see for a few months and then I’m not sure if it was. 

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Oh yeah. 

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1st and then tiny elfiq. 

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Then followed by Gordon Henry. 

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His managers. 

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So anyhow, purse. 

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He worked in Calgary for a while and he go out on these Rd. 

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trips with Carson, which was a big thing in those days selling shows. 

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Of course. 

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And they’d wire back. 

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And he was such an excitable guy. 

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Yes, I know. 

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You know, he was jumping all. 

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Over him, he was funny. 

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And I’d have packed the discs up and shipped them out and things like that and. 

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Then he was transferred. 

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To open the Toronto office and they started representation then too. 

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And the sale programs. 

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And so just before he left, they hired a fella by the name of Fred. 

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I saw Fred in Victoria last week. 

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Is he still? 

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Oh, that’s good. 

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Yes, very much so. 

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Wish I’d known. 

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Spend a delightful evening with with Fred and Myrtle, his wife. 

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No, that yeah and we chatted and. 

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Got some good ones. 

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So he was the the one that was handled, hired in Calgary and he was my boss because I was a little too young. 

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I didn’t have. 

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Any experience? 

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And he was a school teacher, you know. 

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Hell of a guy to work for. 

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I was glad when. 

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They sent him EI liked. 

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I liked him, but he had this school. 

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My room complexion is, yes. 

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And I was too, for beans in those days. 

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So it was always as in the many motorcycling days. 

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Ah, see, when I had there. 

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So after Fred was finally sent E, then they hired the chap that everybody knows. 

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Well, as Eric Williams. 

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Yes, I see Eric fairly often in Toronto, yes. 

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He still works for. 

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The company, doesn’t he? 

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He retired from the company. 

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But for. 

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And he’s working on a sort of part time basis with Doc Murray, you remember. 

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Doc with that film company. 

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What was it then? 

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The other offshoot of all Canada. 

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No equality. 

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No, no, no. 

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The Robert Lawrence Lawrence. 

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He used to do a bit of work for them. 

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Yes, yes, that’s true, we did. 

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So Eric and I would funny. 

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They used to call us the old Cam, the twins, because we’re exactly the same age. 

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Yeah, the same birthdays and everything. 

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Ohh, yeah. 

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So we didn’t find out for a year. 

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Or two later. 

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Isn’t that a funny coincidence? 

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And he was a. 

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Good fella. Oh yeah. 

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And then. 

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Those were the main ones that were hired in all Canada through Calgary and that worked with Carson. 

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Well then spanning those years, the. 

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What was your broad function say in the 10 years before you retired? 

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Well, first of all, I started out shipping and then when Fred Cann went, EI took over the handling of. 

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Sails in the Western Canada for the radio programs and in those days we didn’t do any station time at all. 

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And then it developed in East and I didn’t bother with giving me much so. 

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I just started out on my own really. 

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And I didn’t have proper forms and I got the idea of booking times, you know, and I’d squeeze in at the agencies and worked in there eventually. 

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But it was done all in my own in the West, except in Winnipeg. 

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Then eventually get per Skinner, you see, was transferred back to Winnipeg. 

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And then the guy. 

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Herbert, I saw the first time I met Guy Herbert was when he was. 

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Handling, I guess the commercial aspects of CKY and Manitoba telephone station at that time. 

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Oh, that’s right, deal. 

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And that would be about 193736 or 37. 

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So does the programming. 

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Then it broke into the working up the station time. 

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And it didn’t develop really till after the war. 

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Then I got enough that it was really starting to pay. 

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And then again, the programs always mix real sales. 

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I handled all of it. 

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The library for Western Canada, yes. 

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And actually, we’re pretty did selling in Winnipeg not to any great extent, I’d do that. 

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I’d rate mainly all the letters, sales letters and everything and sell them all from Calgary. 

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Really, even in Vancouver too. 

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And I used to make trips around the country. 

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Pretty wild ones at times. 

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Yes, yes, I know. 

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We did do the business first and then we just kept loose, you know, and. 

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Stay up all night. 

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So you were the All Canada office West of Toronto really because? 

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Vancouver has only in relatively recent years expanded into being in office. 

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Yeah, it was Baldwin, yes. 

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But he was a great golfer, you know. 

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And he didn’t do too much business. 

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He did a fair bit. 

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But the golfing that helped the. 

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Business awkward? 

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Well, one rationalizes that he did. 

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And then, of course, when TV came. 

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I took over the sailor films in Western Canada. 

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You know, we started out with the. 

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Zev and a few things like that. 

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And we’d sell them even before TV was on the. 

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Air, yeah. 

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I’d go up to Edmonton, for instance, and. 

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It’s pretty novel in those days and I. 

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Invite the clients you know, find out who the clients might be. 

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Light them up to the room for breakfast in the morning, bring their wives and show the film at the same time you see it flattered the wives. 

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Yes, yes. 

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And then there’s the husband he’d have. 

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To buy. 

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So Philmon was good in those days. 

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You were involved then? 

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Throughout at least the latter half of your long stint. 

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With both program and time sales. 

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Until your retirement and I guess. 

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When you retired, Bob Johnson came out from Toronto. 

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Yeah, he came out for a year and I just introduced him to all the accounts and so on that I build up in the agencies and and then. 

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He took over from there. 

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The last. 

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For years. 

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That I was in. 

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Working, say from 72 to 74 or 71. 

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The TV programs fell off because they all canned. 

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Pretty well. 

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Got out of it, yes. 

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So then we just concentrate mainly on station time. 

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Yeah, we didn’t sell any programs at all. 

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Of course. 

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Radio dropped off 10 years before prior to that. 

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I used to go around. 

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And sell everything I did. 

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Jack among the people with whom you worked and were associated here in Calgary. 

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Back again in the those early days that we’ve been speaking about. 

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Was, I believe Jack Dennis, the late Jack Dennis. 

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Yeah, he was a very good friend of mine and. 

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He didn’t get an awful lot of education because he came around the studios all the time. 

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He was interested in announcing yes, and he worked into that part time and then eventually full time. 

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And oh, he was well, one of the tops and then another guy that was the same class and Bob Freeland. 

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Yes, I of wild character. 

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Don’t care. 

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Indeed, the stories about Freeland are legion. 

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But he was. 

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The top guy, but the money went to his. 

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Head in the drink talking about him yesterday. 

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Bob Freeland and Leo trainer. 

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Leo Trainer was another one that was on AA for years. 

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He’d go through the Texaco newscast. 

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Never ever read the notes or anything. 

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He was so well read and just never make a mistake. 

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I know he was incredible. 

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I he he worked for me in Vancouver at one point in time. 

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I got to know him quite well. 

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And I’ve I’ve never seen a man quite like trainer. 

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In that he could be. 

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Five days into a binge, I feel like that’s right and incoherent until you propped them up behind a microphone, turned the mic on, and all of a sudden he was on stage and it came across fine, so that he finished, he was stoned again. 

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It just looks like a plan. 

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Other fellow we’re cfac. 

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My sister was secretary then to Guy Herbert and also to tiny. 

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And it was. 

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Eric McLeod, he was a sales manager there once. 

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So as a result I had a big home where my parents left. 

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And this would be in about 19. 

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35 or 36 when they had this cross, Canada. 

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Greetings from the queen and everybody came in in different cities across Camden. 

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Yes, a whole bunch of guy, Herbert and Chestnuts and Carson and everybody were up at my house. 

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And that originated was the Christmas breakfast. 

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There was Bob Freeland because I remember there was a big fight that night with Freeland in the cloud. 


He got his. 

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Open and I have on tape the. 

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A classic Christmas story of the train up, but. 

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You know. 

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Where they. 

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The the regular scheduled transatlantic train. 

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Wasn’t able to get through because of snow. 

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And they backed a yard engine and a couple of freight cars past the mics to simulate the. 

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A transatlantic train you don’t remember. 

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That story. No, I’m not. 

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Too sure. 

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That tiny was involved in it, and Norm Botro was there, and Bob Freeland was there. 

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At field. 

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Yeah. The divisional point, yeah. 

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That’s right. 

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Another one I had to. 

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See just after coming back from the war. 

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And I was able to get quite a lot of liquor and then all the managers they sent in their liquor to Calgary and I bought a brand new Ford, you know. 

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That I was able to work after getting out of the Air Force. 

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So just about tilted Cochrane or someplace that blew a tire. 

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And this was pretty well known, but they had all the liquor for the convention at the bank. 

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And here the Mounties came and even help me. 

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This is a real, actual story. 

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The Mounties helped me take the liquor out of the car and help me fix the tagging of the bag. 

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And it was illegal to have all. 

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That liquor beautiful. 

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But I don’t know everybody in. 

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The radio will remember that because it was shortly after. 

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The war when? 

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Bottles we such a. 

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Domain. Yes, yes. 

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Persons liquor man, of course. 

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That that, that’s kind of fun. 

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So you worked really throughout your? 

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Time with the company. 

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Entirely out of the Calgary office. 

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Strictly in the Calgary, yeah. 

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Whereas a lot of the managers you know kept being mirrored around all over Hells, half Baker from Hamilton to Victoria, yeah. 

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And then I’d be in the office, you see, and that’s why we had a big boardroom there for quite a long time. 

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When the person that have the managers meetings. 

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And you see the man you just said. 

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Come and talk to. 

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Me, because they just be waiting their turn, like going in to see a. 

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King or something? 

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Yes, exactly. 

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Going for their raises and all this stuff and. 

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So I got to know every manager real well, you know, because not only that, but they might take a lot and. 

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Another thing you can ask Steve Mackay at the time. 

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I took him hunting. 

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And he’d never done any hunting in his life. 

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So we started out and it was going to be a good shoot, but. 

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Then everything froze up that night. 

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So I knew the country real well. 

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So I could load Strathmore and it was frozen there and I said oh. 

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Well, I’ll go down to. 

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The Vulcan nation, and so on. 

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You know, we came back and. 

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Said oh, maybe. 

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10 or 15 ducks and some pheasants, Partridge and he got his first duck and he was in the Bush and I showed him how to hold it and boom. 

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He came down. 

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He didn’t. 

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Happened but and also I used to send. 

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Oh, I sent him about 50 or 60 ducks one time for a duck dinner. 

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I’d send them down East because. 

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These would be all plucked. 

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You see, they I used to shoot for Carson and supply him ducks. 

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Eat fly me shells. 

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He was great guy. 

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And Hugh Pearson. 

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It was a good hunter, so he wouldn’t mind if I’d take a few days off, either go hunting couple times I’d gone out. 

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You know him? 

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He’s quick to stop turning now because he’s. 

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Hit the peak again. 

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Jack, I’ve been. 

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Doing a little investigative work around Calgary and. 

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I hear that that you’re enjoying retirement like every man. 

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Or a woman should. 

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Doing exactly what you want to do when you want to do it and having a ball. 

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Skiing summer and winter water skiing, snow skiing. 

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Golf, tennis. I. 

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Took that up to this year. 

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And I can beat the average fella, at least. 

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Yeah, I go for two hours. 

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So what do I do in the morning? 

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Go for two mile round the lake. 

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Down the beach and then eighteen holes at least. 

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And then a couple of hours of. 

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And then I’ll water ski all afternoon. 

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I’ll ski. Oh. 

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35 miles is nothing. You know, I just. I just on ski. I wouldn’t couldn’t use two skis anymore. Just the one ski and the little bit of jumping. 

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A lot of I like heavy water, which doesn’t. 

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And you ski, I gather, just about every day, all winter. 

00:18:53 Speaker 2 

Unless there happens to be a except the Blizzard of all time. 

00:18:54 Speaker 3 

Except weekends, when it’s when it’s crowded. 

00:18:56 Speaker 3 

Yeah, and then. 

00:18:59 Speaker 3 

See, I was in Europe last year and I took every place in Europe. 

00:19:02 Speaker 3 

There is Austria. 

00:19:02 Speaker 2 

Did you hear Italy? 

00:19:06 Speaker 3 

From Austria to Italy and then back to Austria and then into Switzerland, Germany, which is the greatest place? 

00:19:12 Speaker 2 

In the world. Beautiful. 

00:19:13 Speaker 3 

Skate over there. 

00:19:16 Speaker 3 

Different Alps from Switzerland down into Italy. 

00:19:21 Speaker 3 

Stayed in Italy for a week 10 days, and then they’d go up and ski down over Mount Lonk, which you have to have a guide because there’s glasses thousands of feet deep. 

00:19:31 Speaker 3 

Storms takes about four hours to drive. 

00:19:35 Speaker 3 

Came back and helicopter skied for two weeks. 

00:19:37 Speaker 2 

It’s almost immoral. 

00:19:39 Speaker 2 

One man should be having as much fun as you should be. 

00:19:45 Speaker 2 

But that’s just delightful. 

00:19:46 Speaker 2 

You paid your dues. 

00:19:52 Speaker 3 

But the best. 

00:19:53 Speaker 3 

The greatest you know is this helicopter skiing. 

00:19:57 Speaker 3 

It’s it’s tough. 

00:19:58 Speaker 3 

The average guy can’t do it. 

00:20:00 Speaker 3 

You have to be able to ski. 

00:20:01 Speaker 3 

Powder tests so your legs have got to be in good shape and you have to. 

00:20:06 Speaker 3 

You can’t be scared of. 

00:20:07 Speaker 3 

It or anything you know? 

00:20:08 Speaker 3 

You just gotta pretend you’re boss. 

00:20:10 Speaker 3 

Yeah. Lose the odd ski. 

00:20:14 Speaker 2 

Morning. Do you do? 

00:20:14 Speaker 3 

This in the bugaboos. 

00:20:18 Speaker 2 

Bucket booze. 

00:20:19 Speaker 2 

I’m a stranger. 

00:20:20 Speaker 3 

Oh well, it’s way up in more than BC and. 

00:20:21 Speaker 2 

To see country. 

00:20:24 Speaker 3 

It’s called the bugaboos. 

00:20:25 Speaker 2 

Oh yeah. 

00:20:27 Speaker 3 

And you can go in there. 

00:20:30 Speaker 3 

There’s a bugaboo lodge that’s the best place for helicopter ski, and then you can ski all day. They’ll guarantee a minimum of 100,000. 

00:20:39 Speaker 3 

So it skied. 

00:20:42 Speaker 3 

Well, the first week was about 135,000 because there was two bad days. The next week I was. 

00:20:49 Speaker 3 

Round the 200,000 metric that’s vertical. 

00:20:52 Speaker 2 

You say 200,000. That’s 200,000 feet of. 

00:20:55 Speaker 3 

Vertical St. ends. Yeah. So you see, if it’s 200,000 there. 

00:20:56 Speaker 2 

Of downhill run. 

00:21:02 Speaker 3 

You couldn’t classify that in actual running running. 

00:21:07 Speaker 3 

It maybe be. 

00:21:08 Speaker 3 

5 or 600,000 but this is vertical drops straight down. 

00:21:15 Speaker 2 

Have you ever become involved in competitive skiing, or do you do it just? 

00:21:20 Speaker 3 

This this for me. 

00:21:20 Speaker 2 

The Jack Kavanaugh. 

00:21:22 Speaker 3 

And then Noel going to what they call these races, you know, molesters and so on. 

00:21:27 Speaker 2 

Yes, yes. 

00:21:28 Speaker 3 

But I don’t know the young guys, they’re. 

00:21:31 Speaker 3 

Too hot to compete against? 

00:21:34 Speaker 3 

I disturbed him. 

00:21:35 Speaker 3 

30 years ago I’d been in there. 

00:21:39 Speaker 3 

Not not very many past. 

00:21:42 Speaker 2 

Do you have any? 

00:21:44 Speaker 2 

Any feeling of? 

00:21:47 Speaker 2 

Loss or regret or? 

00:21:51 Speaker 2 

Anything lacking in your lifestyle today. 

00:21:56 Speaker 2 

As a result of no longer being directly involved in business. 

00:22:02 Speaker 3 

Feel better? 

00:22:03 Speaker 3 

In fact, I haven’t any spare time. 

00:22:05 Speaker 3 

I thought when I’d retire, I’d be able to do some work in the basement. 

00:22:09 Speaker 3 

I got all the tools you could think of, woodworking tools and. 

00:22:13 Speaker 3 

I never ever get down there life and time. 

00:22:16 Speaker 3 

Whereas when I was working, I do. 

00:22:17 Speaker 2 

This often, well, the spare time today is the is yours to make available whenever you want to. 

00:22:26 Speaker 2 

So obviously you’d rather ski than working in the workshop. 

00:22:29 Speaker 3 

Oh yes, you know, probably like it too old then I’ll. 

00:22:34 Speaker 2 

Working basement. 

00:22:35 Speaker 2 

You mean another 20 or 30 years? 

00:22:39 Speaker 3 

I break leg bad. 

00:22:43 Speaker 3 

Well, but really seeing an awful lot of people. 

00:22:46 Speaker 3 

Too on the. 

00:22:46 Speaker 3 

Ski slopes, which is so interesting. 

00:22:48 Speaker 3 

Yes, of course. 

00:22:50 Speaker 3 

And I, you know, I always I never go up alone very often on a a lift. 

00:22:55 Speaker 3 

I always wait to get someone even if it isn’t crowded. 

00:22:58 Speaker 3 

And then you should have to breeze. 

00:23:01 Speaker 3 

Because you can always find something to talk about where it’s. 

00:23:05 Speaker 3 

Before I. 

00:23:06 Speaker 3 

Did like skiing? 

00:23:07 Speaker 3 

Well, you wouldn’t know what the heck to say. 

00:23:09 Speaker 3 

Well now, heck. 

00:23:11 Speaker 3 

The lifts are too short. 

00:23:14 Speaker 2 

I think perhaps Bob Johnson who? 

00:23:20 Speaker 2 

Tried to fill some of your footsteps and they Calgary office of All Canada. 

00:23:29 Speaker 2 

Bob was telling me that that you maintained that. 

00:23:32 Speaker 2 

A trailer right up in ski country so that you don’t even have to waste time getting there. 

00:23:40 Speaker 3 

See, I just came back from San Diego. 

00:23:43 Speaker 3 

Well, I came in 15th of January. 

00:23:47 Speaker 3 

So I went down there in the middle of November. 

00:23:49 Speaker 3 

Took my water. 

00:23:50 Speaker 3 

See, I just use one ski. 

00:23:52 Speaker 3 

Tennis racket, golf clubs and my snow skis. 

00:23:57 Speaker 3 

I was getting pretty hot in golf. 

00:23:58 Speaker 3 

I was playing a lot of the courses around. 

00:24:00 Speaker 3 

Perry, you know, yes. 

00:24:02 Speaker 3 

And then on the way back, I ski at Salt Lake City. 

00:24:07 Speaker 3 

And Snowbird, no numerous places. 

00:24:09 Speaker 3 

And then I went into Idaho and Sun Valley. 

00:24:12 Speaker 3 

Jackson Hole and I just had only been back. 

00:24:16 Speaker 3 

10 days and I gained at the mountain St. 

00:24:19 Speaker 3 

Of six of them. 

00:24:21 Speaker 3 

Paid my bills and started. 

00:24:23 Speaker 2 

Out I get a very clear impression that that you had a lot of fun during the time you’re when broadcasting, which you’re having a lot more fun now. 

00:24:31 Speaker 3 

Yeah, well, a different kind of fun. 

00:24:32 Speaker 3 

You know, this is physical exercise. 

00:24:36 Speaker 2 

You’re sure it is? 

00:24:37 Speaker 2 

That’s not why you do it. 

00:24:38 Speaker 2 

But you you do it because you’re enjoying it so much. 

00:24:41 Speaker 3 

And I like to keep back. 

00:24:44 Speaker 3 

But this van hits, it’s all insulated. 

00:24:47 Speaker 3 

You see underneath foam. 

00:24:49 Speaker 3 

And all through the walls and the mahogany wood on the side. 

00:24:53 Speaker 3 

It’s got air conditioning. I never use that much and then furnace with the thermostat. I can stay out 25 below. 

00:25:03 Speaker 3 

Stoves to burning. 

00:25:06 Speaker 3 

Toilets and covered with sleep for. 

00:25:09 Speaker 3 

If I want and. 

00:25:12 Speaker 3 

It’s only it’s one you’ve seen these at the big high top. 

00:25:16 Speaker 2 

Yes, yes. 

00:25:16 Speaker 3 

You know it’s probably maximum. 

00:25:19 Speaker 3 

Oh, I take them. 

00:25:20 Speaker 3 

The different fellas they taking John McCall, you know, see if they see out for you. 

00:25:26 Speaker 3 

Two or three times overnight, you know. 

00:25:29 Speaker 3 

Give him a bad run. 

00:25:30 Speaker 3 

I like to see him work hard. 

00:25:35 Speaker 2 

Well, Jack, if my complexion seems to be changing color somewhat, I’m sure it is because I’m green with envy it. 

00:25:43 Speaker 2 

At the lifestyle that you. 

00:25:46 Speaker 2 

Hacked out for yourself? 

00:25:48 Speaker 2 

I don’t think really there’s anything new about your enjoyment of life. 

00:25:53 Speaker 2 

It’s effects you always have. 

00:25:55 Speaker 2 

You’re just doing it in a different way than you did before you retired. 

00:26:00 Speaker 2 

Jack, thank you so much for coming in this morning. 

00:26:02 Speaker 2 

It’s been delightful to. 

00:26:04 Speaker 2 

To chat with you. 

00:26:06 Speaker 2 

And as I say, I return to eastern Canada full of envy for the lifestyle of Jack Cavanaugh. 

00:26:12 Speaker 3 


00:26:12 Speaker 2 

Well, thanks very much, ****. 

00:26:13 Speaker 2 

It was a pleasure. 

00:26:16 Speaker 1 

This interview was recorded in 1978 by **** Meister.