Today I am 60-Part 2

June6

So much happened between 10 and 20 as is the case with many of us. I attended John Henderson for junior high and Miles Macdonnell for high school. I still LOVED school, especially the addition of Home Economics to my class load.  I ran for school president in junior high and lost to my best friend Lynne McCarthy. Her dad worked for Cadbury’s and I comforted myself by concluding that she rallied so many volunteers to get her elected by serving them all chocolate bars at their house. I remember junior high as an emotional and mixed up time (hormones?). I got one vote for sure, from Gord Howard. Still my friend today.

During this time, my Dad had been transferred to Brandon and would live there during the week and come home on the weekends. It was a tough time for my Mom because even though my two eldest brothers had married and left home, there were four of us who needed to be driven to hockey practices, swimming lessons, dance classes, etc. etc.  We spent summers at Nutimik Lake which I wasn’t as fond of as my beloved Grand Beach and so I immersed myself in books again-this time Harlequin Romances!

By high school I had discovered the “the-a-tre” and spent much of my free time, at the theatre school that was affiliated with the Manitoba Theatre Centre. We were housed in an old warehouse across the street from MTC and my instructor was the handsome and talented Colin Jackson who I had a mad, mad crush on. This led in a circuitous way to  landing my first job-as a performer on a national kids tv show on the CBC entitled “Drop In”. I was permitted by the school administration to miss a lot of days of school to host the TV show. When my high school chemistry teacher would not permit me to be tutored as did my math teacher, I had to make a life-changing decision and was forced to give up my dream of becoming a Home Economist who hosted cooking shows on TV. Instead, I enrolled in the Dramatic Arts degree program at U of W.  That is where, when we were both 19 years old, I met my bestie Melinda (the friend that is flying in to celebrate with me). We were both theatre geeks and hit it off like wildfire.

The family couldn’t resist the pull of Lake Winnipeg and we again spent summers at Grand Beach. I also caught the travel bug after traveling to Halifax on a student exchange program in grade 11. Having some disposable income and being confident enough to fly on student standby tickets, I visited Halifax again in addition to Ottawa twice, Toronto and Vancouver.

Since the longing to travel hit me hard and by this time I was sharing a vintage downtown apartment near the U of W, I took a chance on a part time job at a new restaurant that was opening up in town. Called The Keg ‘n Cleaver, I was one of the hostesses the evening that the doors opened (40 years ago this week) and took the names of people lined up down the block. As you likely know, my tenure with The Keg Steakhouse + Bar (which it was eventually renamed) continues until this day.

To be continued…


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