Bing and Ol’ Medicine Hat
It seems that Medicine Hat was hit with movie gold not once, but twice since the 1940s. There is, of course, the well documented case of the Monty Python skit ( https://www.todayville.com/monty-python-and-medicine-hat/ ) but also another well known and higher profile mention of this Alberta city….
Bing Crosby was an American entertainer who was well known world-wide for his crooning and his entertaining films and his USO tours with his friends and co-workers over during WWII and subsequent conflicts.
Among his many memorable films, “Holiday Inn,” was released in 1942 with great success for not only one of the first releases of ‘White Christmas,’ which won an Oscar for best music but also the pairing of Fred Astaire and Crosby in a delightful love triangle film set in a ski resort. The film was reprised in the classic ‘White Christmas,’ that included Rosemary Cluny and song and dance legend Danny Kaye in 1954.
‘Holiday Inn,’ starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Marjorie Reynolds centred around Fred Hardy, a laid back composer who buys an Inn to put on Broadway style shows on special days so his life is not so hectic. Sadly, Fred Astaire, Ted Hanover, has a history of stealing dance partners and falls in love with them. Hardy discovers Linda Mason (Reynolds) and much to the chagrin of Hardy, Hanover winds up at one of his holiday specials and finds her, falls in love with her and the rest of the film follows Hardy’s efforts to keep Mason away from Hanover.
During the film, a couple of great moments occur, one with Astaire, apparently very drunk, dancing with Mason for the delight of the gathered crowd. The dance choreography is amazing, just as Astaire was an amazing performer and teacher.
However, Medicine Hat comes full front and centre when Hanover is expected to come hunting for Mason and Hardy askes his driver to take the long way home so she cannot be stolen by Hanover.
Hardy hands his driver $10, and utters the now famous dialogue…
“For that kinda of money you oughta be able to go by way o’ Medicine Hat!
Of course, the ploy is successful, and she is angry with Hardy that she could not refuse Hanover, but in the end, love wins and show biz rules the Inn.
This may seem like a random entry into the film but it may have been planned or more likely an improv by Crosby who had a predilection for pheasant hunting in the area just as Humphrey Bogart liked moose hunting in Cabri, Saskatchewan!
The story behind the story is that Brooks at one time was the BEST pheasant hunting area in North America and along with Bob Hope, the pair hunted in the area in the 1940s. An old timer recalled seeing Crosby and Clark Gable in the Cecil Hotel during hunting season!
Is there evidence that Crosby was in the Hat?
Only old hotel records could ever say, and the Cecil Hotel has been stilled forever…
In the meanwhile, “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…”
‘A big part of my life’: Orillia mourns hometown legend Gordon Lightfoot
Two men pay respects at Gordon Lightfoot’s Golden Leaves statue at Tudhope Park in Orillia, Ont., on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Flowers were placed on the tribute after news broke that Lightfoot passed away at 84 years old Monday May 1, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Drost
By Sharif Hassan in Orillia
It didn’t take long for the flowers to appear at the statue of Gordon Lightfoot in his Ontario hometown.
The legendary folk musician, claimed by the City of Orillia as its “favourite son,” died of natural causes at a Toronto hospital on Monday at the age of 84.
Barely 24 hours later, Orillia residents stopped by the bronze sculpture of Lightfoot that stands in a city park to pay their respects.
Cam Gardy, who brought yellow flowers to lay at the base of the statue, said his mother went to school with the musician and would tell tales of how he’d perform for students.
“He has been a part of my life as I have grown up,” Gardy said, adding that while he never met Lightfoot personally, he had been to one of his concerts.
“Mr. Lightfoot is iconic, not only to the residents and the city but obviously to the people across Canada.”
Lightfoot put Orillia on the map, Gardy said, and was an “incredible ambassador” for the city.
“He always spoke of his town fondly,” Gardy said.
Joanna Bell, who brought a rose to place at the statue, said she cried when she woke up to news of Lightfoot’s death on Tuesday morning.
“Gordon Lightfoot was a big part of my life, my childhood,” she said, adding that she is one of seven siblings. “He was loved by all of us, and of course he wrote the most beautiful music.”
Lightfoot’s music brings to mind the beauty of Canada, she said.
“He is such a well-respected Canadian,” she said. “That is why I came today, I felt compelled to come.”
Heather Placken, who said she’s been a fan of Lightfoot’s for 40 years, said she only learned of the singer’s death when walking by the entrance of the Orillia park hosting his statue – an announcement had been posted by the entrance.
“I feel really honoured and grateful that I had the opportunity to see him here last summer,” she said.
Lightfoot was more than just a songwriter and musician, she said.
“Every song he has ever written and sang, it tells a story of something significant that everyone of us can relate,” she said.
“He was an amazing individual and for Canadians, to have somebody of that stature to look up to in the music industry is phenomenal.”
Lightfoot was born in Orillia in 1938, sang in a church choir as a boy and dreamed of becoming a jazz musician.
He later emerged from Toronto’s Yorkville folk club scene in the 1960s, and went on to record more than 20 studio albums and hundreds of songs, including “Early Morning Rain,” “Carefree Highway” and “Sundown.”
Orillia Mayor Don McIsaac said Lightfoot was highly regarded in the city.
“His homecoming concerts at the Orillia Opera House and appearances at the Mariposa Folk Festival have always been celebrated by Orillians as they welcomed him home,” the mayor wrote in a statement.
“Many of us who knew him will remember his soft-spoken demeanor, generous personality and infectious laugh.”
There are reminders of Lightfoot throughout Orillia, McIsaac said, noting that the singer’s name graces a city auditorium stage and a trail, while a bust of him sits at the Orillia Opera House, in addition to the sculpture honouring him in the city’s J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park.
“His deep roots in our city are woven into the fabric of Orillia,” McIsaac said. “Our community is mourning together along with the rest of the world.”
The city has lowered its flags to half-mast, the mayor said. Books of condolences for the music icon are available at the Orillia Opera House and Orillia City Centre.
A concert tour to celebrate Lightfoot’s music had been set to begin on Saturday, on the stage named after him at the Orillia Opera House. It will still go ahead, with the show’s creator saying she hopes it will serve as a celebration of Lightfoot’s music and life.
“My band and I were huge fans of Gordon Lightfoot. The reason that we created this concert is because his music has impacted all of our lives so much,” Leisa Way said in an interview.
“He’s just shaped who I am as a Canadian, certainly growing up in northern Ontario, and now it will be very emotional for all of us.”
Way said the concert, called Early Morning Rain: The Legend of Gordon Lightfoot, had premiered for three weeks in February 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic meant it had to stop.
She said she hopes Saturday’s concert will be a special event for the residents of Orillia.
“There’s nothing that Gordon Lightfoot would love more than knowing that audiences are getting together in theaters and singing along to all of his songs,” she said. “I think he’ll be smiling down on us.”
– with files from Maan Alhmidi in Toronto.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2023.
Antiquities, plucked from storeroom, on Roman Forum display
Archaelogical findings are stored in plastic tubs in the antiquities storeroom inside the Roman Forum in Rome, Wednesday, April 19, 2023. The pieces today on display at the Forum were part of the myriads of findings still kept in the Colosseum storehouse that is not open to the public. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
By Frances D’emilio in Rome
ROME (AP) — Hundreds of remnants of ancient Roman life — including colored dice, rain gutter decorations depicting mythological figures, and burial offerings 3,000 years old — have long been hidden from public sight. Until now.
For the next few months, a limited number of visitors to the Roman Forum, Colosseum or Palatine Hill can view a tantalizing display of ancient statuettes, urns, even the remarkably well-preserved skeleton of a man who lived in the 10th-century B.C. All the exhibits have been plucked from storerooms in the heart of the Italian capital.
Indeed, so many artifacts are kept in storerooms that “you could open 100 museums,” said Fulvio Coletti, an archaeologist with the Colosseum archaeological park. On Wednesday, Coletti stood at the entrance to a “taberna,” a cavernous space which had served commercial purposes in ancient Roman times and belonged to the palace complex of the 1st-century Emperor Tiberius.
Three such “tabernae” now double as exhibition rooms for once-hidden antiquities. To give an idea of just how many more artifacts are still not on display, curators stacked enormous see-through plastic tubs, chockful of discoveries from some 2,000 years ago and bearing minimalist labels like “Ancient Well B Area of Vesta,” a reference to the temple in the Forum erected to the goddess of the hearth.
One display holds row after row of ancient colored dice — 351 in all — that in the 6th century B.C. were tossed into wells as part of rituals. Also in the exhibit is a decoration from a temple rain-gutter depicting a bearded Silenus, a mythological creature associated with Dionysus, the wine god.
Some artifacts are displayed in showcases custom-made by archaeologist Giacomo Boni, whose excavations in the first years of the 20th century revealed dozens of tombs, including many of children. Some of the tombs dated from as far back as the 10 century B.C., centuries before the construction of the Roman Forum, the center of the city’s political and commercial life, when the city’s inhabitants dwelt in a swampy expanse near the River Tiber.
In one display case is the largely intact skeleton of a man who was a good 1.6 meters tall (about 5-foot-4 inches), on the taller side for his time, in the 10th century B.C. He was buried with some kind of belt, whose bronze clasp survived. Found in his tomb and on display are a scattering of grains, remnants of funeral rites. Layers of mud, formed in Rome’s early days, helped preserve the remains.
The director of the Colosseum’s Archaeological Park said staff were working to make an inventory of artifacts kept in more than 100 storerooms, whose contents up to now have been accessible to academics but few others.
“We want in some way to make objects come to light that otherwise would be invisible to the great public,” Alfonsina Russo, the director, told The Associated Press.
“We’re talking of objects that tell a story, not a big story, but a daily story, a story of daily life,” Russo said.
Every Friday through July, visitors can admire the antiquities pulled out of the storerooms during 90-minute guided tours. The “tabernae” are small exhibition spaces, so only eight visitors can enter during each tour. Reservations are required, and visitors must buy an entrance ticket to the archaeological park. Park officials indicated they hope the initiative can be extended or renewed.
Collapse of major dam in southern Ukraine triggers emergency as Moscow and Kyiv blame each other
Trudeau Foundation board chair says donation from Chinese company has been returned
Indigenous leaders meet G7 diplomats to make case for Canadian LNG
Three men, including police officer, face charges after overdose death in cell
Alberta15 hours ago
‘Flared back up’: Alberta town of 8,400 evacuated for second time due to fire
Media2 days ago
Government policy tells CRTC to exclude social media users from online streaming bill
Brownstone Institute10 hours ago
Twenty Grim Realities Unearthed by Lockdowns
Education1 day ago
Ottawa girl set to become the youngest university graduate in Canadian history
Top Story CP2 days ago
CP NewsAlert: Wildfire triggers evacuation order for Tumbler Ridge, B.C.
Top Story CP1 day ago
WestJet to wind down budget airline Swoop, integrate into main operation
Energy2 days ago
Wilkinson urges collaboration after Saskatchewan rejects federal energy table
Alberta1 day ago
A look at Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s new cabinet