Uncle Lloyd: That’s the kind of century it’s been


Dear Uncle Lloyd:

Has it been 35 years now? I thought it was much longer.

No wait, you were at CBC before CTV; that’s right. I first met you when you lived in the black and white tube television with the rabbit ears on the farm in St. Catharines. I think I was only five at the time but my mom let me stay up late to watch you during the summer. Heck, I was awake anyway since Uncle Vern and I used to have coffee at 10 p.m. and I couldn’t sleep for years. The other adults were usually drinking outside someplace and Granny was in a wheelchair and she couldn’t drink anymore, and all that was left was to watch you.

And Earl. I liked Earl. What ever happened to him and that Harvey Kirck guy?

Oh yeah, they died, like 35 years ago.

Geez, Mon Uncle, when I come to think about it, my relationship with you has lasted longer than all others, with the exception of my brothers and they’re both pushing 60. Everybody else is dead, so I’m glad you’re still around. I can’t imagine my life without you.

Every night I have enjoyed a little game I call “what color will Uncle Lloyd’s hair be?” It’s always been fascinating to me to see the colors of the rainbow that have been on your head, and Ginger’s head, too. Sometimes I wonder whether you and Uncle Craig share the same bottle of Clairol.

We’ve been through a lot together, we have. As I said, you’ve seen me through my entire collection of relatives — all gone to that happy hunting ground — and let’s not forget three fun-filled marriages and three kids. You’ve always kept me up to speed on what, like ten prime ministers? You could have been a long distance runner; you certainly know how to go the distance.

Now I read your letter today and I did expect a little more humility. You kept reminding us that you were “Canada’s most trusted anchor” and about what a great team you’ve put together there at CTV. We know all that, we don’t need to be reminded. The letter sounded more like a resume and Cole’s notes on the history of Canada than an insightful document.

Where were the inspirational words? Didn’t you read Jack Layton’s manifesto?

Perhaps you should have taken a page from that ad you folks run all the time and just say this:

I.

I.

I.

I.

I am.

I am CTV.

News.

I am CTV News.

That would have looked great on a poster.

Anyway, the letter says you’re not ready to retire. Why not?

You’re 77 friggin’ years old. Sorry to say, you don’t have that much time left.

Why not take up a hobby, like bird watching or geriatric kick boxing? Pass the oxygen tank on the left hand side?

Or take up pot smoking?

Maybe bocce ball.

Stop and smell the roses. Get to know Nancy a bit better.

Don’t go to the office. I dare you.

I will miss you, but I expect to see you back in, say, five years when Lisa Laflamme gets tired of ripping and reading and she gets the blood lust back in her system. The girl hasn’t unpacked her suitcase in 15 years so what makes you think she’s going to warm that seat for more than a couple of years? Certainly, I can’t see Lisa the Fan Dancer sticking around until she’s 77. She’d probably start to smell bad.

Maybe Keith Morrison is still kicking around some place waiting to finally take up the throne. Like Prince Charles.

You never let that happen did you? You chased him down to Los Angeles, didn’t you? He coulda been a contenda.

Oh well, not in his life time. Or mine.

Anyway, Lloyd, Godspeed. And while you’re at it, why don’t you take Ginger with you? He’s starting to look like Jigsaw and it’s freaking me out.

I’m afraid he’ll turn into a creepy puppet in his chair one day and everyone in the newsroom will be chained in a bathroom with a key.

And a handsaw.

And a Panamanian head vice.

In the meantime, thanks for everything, Uncle Lloyd.

It’s been a long time, not always a good time.

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