I had originally titled this photo collage “In conversation with” but in looking at it again “Pleased to meet you” is more apt. In all of these cases, I was gifted with pleasant conversations. I could have just as easily put Rob Ford (deceased) or Ben Mulroney up here but neither of them made a positive impact on my life, or indeed, were of any interest.
I will let you look them all up but here are some info about a few:
Rohinton Mistry. Canadian author (Such a long Journey, A Fine Balance). Giller Prize winner. I met him at a publisher’s launch at the AGO that I should not have been at. You could say I got picked up by a literary agent. So there I was, 25 years old, in jeans and pirate shirt surrounded by white people in suits. I felt so out of place and stood outside of the margins. Mistry felt the same way – and so the two of us keep company for a time , two tokens, the only ones of colour at this shindig.
Lottie “the Body” Graves Clarebourne and I never met in person but I did interview her on the phone. In truth, I got obsessed with her after seeing her in the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown. And found her phone number in the Detroit telephone book. Fascinating lady – I can take some credit for her being placed in the Burlesque Hall of Fame.
John Boyd. A milliner for Princess Diana. I met him by chance in his atelier. A delightful gentleman. We talked for and hour. And I bought a hat.
Virginia Hey. Entrepreneur , actress best know for Mad Max and SciFi show Farscape. Former Bond Girl who had nothing good to say about Timothy Dalton (indeed, her silence upon my asking about the man spoke volumes). She was one of the few three-scene Bond gals who could actually act. I met her at Toronto Trek but we also crossed paths online – would you believe that she was the webmistress of her own website. Interesting lady.
Tabby Johnson. Singer, actress, Ewok (voice of Latara in Nelvana animated series). She spent four years as a backup singer for Rick James, including on James’ most famous single, “Super Freak” (that’s her in the pink gloves). I worked with her at The Dragon Academy private school.