Montreal is not a new city for me – I grew up here, on the south shore, in a town called Chateauguay. It is recently most famous as the hometown of Corey Crawford, two-time NHL Stanley Cup-winning goaltender.
To me, this is a bit of down time in my travels, somewhere familiar. Somewhere to stay with friends, do laundry, get some groceries, etc. But then I realized how important this really is. Last night I had dinner with my two best friends – my neighbour next door growing up, and my neighbour across the street. We have known each other a very, very long time, since we were 2 years old. We have each lived in different cities and town, all across this country, and managed to not only keep in touch but keep close. The first postcards I wrote, when I was probably 6 or 7 or 8, were to these girls when I was on holiday with my family. I remember asking my Mum how to write a postcard, and she said to start with a Hello, then tell them what I have been doing, then say “Hope you are well” and then sign off. I remember being stumped about how I could do all that in the space provided, and I struggled to make sure that each postcard was different because I knew they would share the cards with each other.
My musical tastes grew in Montreal and went from Donny Osmond and David Cassidy through Deep Purple and Todd Rundgren to Frank Zappa and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band when I left. I went from CJAD and CFCF through CKGM to CHOM. There was also the birth of unique French artists. When I went to parties I remember hearing French versions of English pop songs, but then also Robert Charlebois and Rene Simard. And Christmas isn’t the same without <<il est ne le divin enfant>>.