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Judy Collins: her ‘woe,' Canada

Anthony Wilson-Smith November 13 2000
Overture

Overture

Judy Collins: her ‘woe,' Canada

Anthony Wilson-Smith November 13 2000

Overture

Anthony Wilson-Smith

Judy Collins: her ‘woe,' Canada

Two hours before American singer Judy Collins was booed by a Toronto hockey audience for meddling with the lyrics of O Canada at a Maple Leafs-New Jersey Devils game last week, her biggest concern was what boots she would wear onto the ice. Collins, 61, worried that the red ones she brought might clash § with the red carpet she would be J standing on. But Collins, a hockey f fan who was in Toronto promoting | her two latest CDs, Live at Wolf Trap and All on a Wintry Night, was looking forward to performing before the game. And she told Macleans she was planning on changing the lyrics to O Canada. “When I sing the American anthem, I change ‘brotherhood’ to ‘brotherand sisterhood,’ ” said Collins, “so in the second verse of the Canadian anthem I will change ‘sons’ to ‘sons and daughters.’ ” Besides making the song more gender sensitive, Collins replaced “glowing hearts” with

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Over and Under Achievers

Deconstructing the debate

Know your candidate: a pre-debate primer on what the leaders will say—-and really mean—on Nov. 8 and 9.

Gilles Duceppe Will say: “You can vote for the Bloc even if you’re a federalist.” Will mean: “If you vote for the Bloc, I’ll call it a vote for sovereignty.”

Alexa McDonough Will say: “Were needed as the voice of the left.”

Will mean: “When this is over, will there be a left left?”

Joe Clark Will say: “This election is a choice between the PM, Stockwell Day—and me.” Will mean: “Why don’t you take me more seriously?”

Stockwell Day Will say: a lot of nice things about medicare—and throw around lots of facts and figures.

Will mean: “I’m more than just a pretty face—you can tmst me, too!”

The PM Will say: lotsa stuff about his plans for tomorrow—and very nasty things about Day. Will mean: “Don’t think of me as Yester-D^y’s Man!”

“blazing hearts.” Fans weren’t amused. Collins explained later that she blacked out and forgot the words. While the folk legend has long been a favourite of Canadians for her renditions of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen songs, after her run-in with the surly hockey crowd, she can truly say she’s seen this country from both sides now.

ELECTION

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‘I did what, Dick?’

Since first shooting to fame in the 1960s with his satirical series That Was the Week that Was in Britain, David Frost has become arguably the world’s most famous celebrity interviewer. His subjects have ranged from Mikhail Gorbachev to Nelson Mandela to Elton John. Butas Frost, now 61, acknowledges, no sessions have been more famous—or controversial—than his extended 1977interview with Richard Nixon— the first granted by the former U.S. president in the wake of his resignation. In a meeting with Maclean’s, Frost recalled Nixon:

“He was a man with a great desire to be one of the guys, but no capacity for small talk. Often in my business, people are fascinating in one-to-one sessions, but freeze in front of a camera. With Nixon, it was the reverse. You’d leave the set, I where he had just been fasci| nating, and he’d have nothI ing to say—but Lord knows, i he tried. He’d say to the camera crew: ‘We’re hard hats together’—meaning nothing like those flaky journalists.

“I remember one Monday morning, when we were taping at a house we’d rented down the road from his place at San Clemente. He would have his makeup put on in one bedroom, I in another, then we would walk through a kitchen to where the interviews took place. As we went through the kitchen, he looked at me and said, ‘Did you do any fornicating this weekend?’ I couldn’t believe it. I realized he was making what he thought was small talk, and didn’t expect an answer. So I went heh-heh-heh, and we walked onto the set.

“Lots of people have stories like that. [NBC anchor] Tom Brokaw talks about the time a member of Nixon’s presidential motorcade crashed his motorcycle and broke his leg. He was lying 10 yards from Nixon, and someone said, ‘The guy has worked three years for you—comfort him.’ So Nixon walked over, looked at him lying there, and said, ‘Do you enjoy your job?’ ”

Harnessing the skills of the past

About once a month, a private jet comes to Toronto to pick up David Freedman. “Our clients have an incredible sense of urgency,” says Freedman, 36, who runs Freedman Harness—one of the world’s most renowned harness-making companies. “I’ve had clients call and say, ‘We’d like you to measure our horses; well have a plane waiting in the morning.’ ” The 206-year-old family business, which specializes in handmade leather harnesses for horses and antique carriages has been based in Toronto since 1910. Freedman’s grandfather Isaac nearly abandoned the trade after the Second World War with the rise of the automobile. But Freedman’s father, Sam, “knew all the

antique carriages would have to re-emerge at some point,” Freedman says. Today, the Rockefellers and du Ponts are among deeppocketed clients. Freedman, who learned to hand-stitch when he was 10, left school at 18 to work. He and 13 other harness makers work at the Toronto production shop. Finding craftsmen to fill orders—now on a one-year backlog—isn’t easy. But last year, a provincial government grant gave Freedman new hope. “We got approved along with a high-tech digital-printing firm and a couple other hot trades,” he says with a laugh. In a world of new technology, there’s still room for old skills.

John Intini

Overbites

“The policemen weren’t skating well that night and the firefighters were maybe playing better. This one guy starts it and then the other guy gets in and then its all of the teammates and it got out of hand. I said, ‘Look, I’m finished, I don’t need this kind of aggravation.’ ”

-Ex-NHLer Eddie Shack, who was refereeing a charity hockey game between Edmonton police and Calgary firefighters, describes how it ended.

“The Calgary firemen got a little chippy. One guy speared our guy between the legs, cross-checked him into the net, and then he punched him in the head.”

-Bill Clark of the Edmonton police team gives his version of events. It was the second straight year the traditional game ended in a fight. Calgary was up 8-5 with 90 seconds left.