Am I crazy? How dare I put my name up there with three of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century?
Of course, your right. I’m not worthy of being mentioned in the same breath.
But bear with me. In a certain sense, I belong up there. And I’ll tell you why.
Einstein never won the Nobel Prize for his relativity, mankind’s greatest scientific achievement.
Chaplin never won an Oscar for any of his monumental cinematic masterpieces.
Tolstoy never got his rightful recognition as a writer of Nobel-ist rank.
And I never could win Canada’s greatest artistic prize, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award ($15,00.00) (G.G.P.A.A.).
I had no such luck. I’ll tell you, if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
My name was put up several times for the Big Kahuna. Nada. Nichevo. Nil. Nix. Nozzing. Lesser lights got it, but not I.
I don’t know how to win the G.G.P.A.A. But I do know a dozen different ways how not to win it.
Here’s how not:
- Being the very first anglophone face on newly-minted Canadian television won’t do it.
- Being the very first weatherman in Canadian television history won’t do it.
- Being for years and years the only professional meteorologist on Canadian television won’t hack it.
- Teaching the laws of weather science to thousands and thousands of Canadians – both young and old – via the boob-tube – across several generations won’t do it.
- Being on the TV screen each and every night of each and every week for nigh on to thirty (30) years – a span of three generations – in the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties – certainly didn’t do it.
- Serving the Canadian economy with vital nightly weather-related operational information – forget it!
- Being Canada’s first TV star won’t do it.
- Winning the Order of Canada won’t do it.
- Getting inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame won’t do it.
- Being acclaimed on Chinese Television as “the world’s first weather entertainer” certainly didn’t help.
- Being the first professional face on English TV won’t do it.
- Being remembered by ordinary people with love, affection, and thanks won’t do it.
- Having a lady tell me that when she first came to Canada, knowing no one, and watched me on TV, that “you lit up my life” got me nowhere.
- Having a young man say that his mother learned to speak English watching me, is no help at all.
- Having famous writer Greg Clark call me the “Beau Sabreur of the chalk stick” got me nowhere.
- Being the first in Canada to present the weather in satellite and radar images was no help.
- Interviewing a thousand celebrities on TV won’t do it.
- Getting acknowledged Down Under in the Land of Oz won’t win it.
- Being a TV star for 30 years won’t help.
- Performing 6000 TV shows plus 3000 radio shows (a total of 9000 principal performances) is no help at all.
- Conceiving the entire idea in the first place for a regular weather telecast in the face of open skepticism by early CBC brass won’t do it.
- Performing solo the key roles of producer, director, writer, researcher, performer, set designer, artistic director, and chief chalk procurer of the Weather Programme on TV – shades of Charlot – didn’t do it.
- In short being the fustest with the mostest didn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t, won’t and can’t do it. Not for me, at any rate.
- Oh yes! Being in the Mounties bad books seems not to have helped either. Do you smell the sulphur of Senator Joe McCarthy?
- Why, even a Non-Performer got it! Hah! As Victor Mature (he who, said Groucho, had bigger tits than his leading lady) said: “I’m no actor and I got 40 movies to prove it!” As Percy said, “I’m a top Principal Performer and I’ve got 9000 principal performances to prove it!”
Ah well! Vanity, vanity – all is vanity!
So now you can see why I put myself up there in the august line-up: Albert, Charlie, Leo, Groucho, Vic – and me?
We’re all losers, that’s why.
So how do you grab the brass ring? Well, you got to ride that merry-go-round round and round and round and round. Like I did for 30 years. But that didn’t hack it, did it?
It’s the old refrain: it’s not what you know – it’s who you know.
And I know diddley-squat.
And that’s exactly what I got – diddley-squat!