February 22nd, 1978 — The current production of King Lear playing at Bard on the Beach contains some very realistic sword fighting. The actors involved probably were trained at the Paddy Crean Workshop in Banff which is named after the man above, Patrick Crean, aka Paddy Crean, who I photographed in 1978 giving a fencing lesson to actors in a Vancouver Playhouse Theatre production. Crean was a British actor and one of the most influential figures in the art of modern stage combat. He worked with actors like Paul Scofield, Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard, Alec Guinness, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Errol Flynn, all now dead and probably unknown to most readers of this blog but believe me, once they were very big names. Are those wine bottles on the piano? The title of his autobiography is “More Champagne, Darling” so probably they are.
December 26th, 1974 — Edith Harley with her dog in front of the apartment in Vancouver near Robson and Thurlow she was evicted from Christmas 1974.
March 15th, 1974 — Sidney Claridge after his last run as engineer on the CP Rail passenger train, The Canadian. Newspapers once published a lot of ordinary pictures like this although Sidney Claridge wasn’t just anybody, he was the father of Pat Claridge, a local football hero with the BC Lions. The picture was taken near the round house in False Creek now the site of multi story condominiums.
March 30th, 1974 — Antony Holland as the coach in “That Championship Season” at the Arts Club Theatre. On July 1st it was announced the 94 year old Holland would receive the Order of Canada. Also in the picture are left to right, Des Smiley, Lloyd Berry, Holland, Ian White.
March 22nd 1974 — Rupert Harris had been taking wood from White Rock Beach to burn in his fireplace since 1924 when I stumbled upon him while looking for pictures on a slow news day in March. There was no real story but reporter Nicole Parton (then Strickland) thought Rupert was worth a try for an interview so drove out and sat with him beside a roaring spitting fire in his house, drinking tea, eating oatmeal cookies, asking questions. She didn’t find out much, not even his age, only that he takes a sixth of a cord at a time and the hard work of cutting and splitting the wood “keeps the doctor away”. Four pictures ran on the front page of the Province’s lifestyles section. The dog’s name was Gyp.
Circa 1976 — Looking for a particular picture in my negative archive is a time consuming project because there are so many distractions. Take this picture which was hidden among the many pictures I took while driving from Kingston, Ontario back to Vancouver. It’s possibly Arthur Blessitt who walked across Canada carrying a cross. I seem to remember passing him on highway 101 somewhere in northern Ontario, doing a quick U turn so I could get a picture, and then forgot all about the incident, never making a print.
July 1975 — There are three or four pictures on this blog which have always attracted comments over the years. One is the picture of Kathryn Kuhlman preaching at the Agrodome in Vancouver. You can see it here. Since many of the comments are requests by individuals doing research on Kuhlman’s life I’ve uploaded the rest of the pictures from that assignment.
1970’s — It was one of those moments that Julian Barnes likes to write about. Something was happening but what exactly? A maintenance worker at the Robson Square Ice Rink is in a fight with a young man who had been ice skating. There seemed to be some history here. The young man wasn’t alone; he had friends who were gathering up their skates. They were white and seemed to be of no concern to the security guards when they arrived. The young man swung the hammer at the maintenance worker, dropped it, and then ran from the rink with his friends. The police waiting at the top of the stairs took names but no charges were laid so the pictures didn’t run in the paper. A few days later I phoned the house of the young man. His father answered but my curiosity didn’t interest him. I sensed much distrust towards an enquiring journalist even if he was only a photographer.
December 19th, 1974 — A Vancouver fireman dressed up as Santa Claus visits the isolation ward of Children’s Hospital with gifts and entertainment. It was one of those assignments newspaper photographers did every year which seldom produced a real photograph, except for me once, in 1974.
July 24th, 1973 — On those days when nothing was happening and there were few pictures for the newspaper scenes like this were a life saver, sometimes even ending up on the front page. A bunch of kids rolling each other along the grass in a large inner tube from a truck, having fun by themselves, with no adults to supervise. The old days, gone forever.