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Re: [F_MINOR] Dispatch from Toronto

Hi, Mary Jo--

Glad you had fun in Toronto during Caribana--not, ahem, Carabina, which sounds like something they'd hold in Miami, eh?

One of the great loves of my life has been walking the streets of Toronto--as many Torontonians will understand.  They're safe and clean, and so full of--people.  The thing is, Canadians usually don't speak to each other on the street--as your comments suggest--except in the form of mild reprimand or strict politeness.  That's Toronto the Good to a T.

Would Glenn have rejected that other Toronto you describe?  I doubt it.  Caribana was around when Glenn was still alive, and before Caribana there was Yorkville, and long before Yorkville there was the revelry of the CNE every August--more restrained, to be sure, but I think the point will hold.  What I like best about Glenn, in the end, are the experimental radio pieces, the comedy, and the gems from the Silver Jubilee CD.  Many voices, counterpoint, the comic line and the unheard laughter:  we misunderstand Glenn by thinking that his not-so-staid statue is out of line with his F-Minor personality.  It wasn't all so measured and dour--we know that!  Partly, he was simply Canadian, less demonstrative on most occasions, but always with a subtext flowing beneath the silence.  Solitude was a conscious choice on his part, but choice necessarily implies an alternative.  The problem for so deeply passionate a person as he was, was how to measure restraint without denying reality--no wonder he hated performance; no wonder he discovered Petula Clark on a drive north of Superior.  If nothing else, I think Glenn would have loved the left-handedness of Caribana, if you get my drift.

I'll halt here for fear of turning this into an essay.  Prince belongs in Toronto.  If Gould has an alter-ego heir, it's got to be him.  I don't suppose he enjoys fishing either.


Larry McDonnell

Mary Jo Watts wrote:


I've got a few moments of access to the web and I had to share a very
surreal experience.  I was in Toronto for a conference and staying at a
hotel directly across from the CBC centre, the GG studio and the bronze
sculpture of GG which is also a bench.  [For Image See
http://www.boldts.net/TorFr.shtml] A friend and I went over to have a
look and sat down-- I  was periously close to Glenn and his
well-polished knee and thigh became an armrest. About that time a huge
football match between the Celtics and Roma was about to let out and
here are some of the things people said to us-and a well-bronzed Glenn.
It was warm, smoggy and steamy-- a typical, I was told,  Toronto summer
night.   Shining above was a full, blue moon.

A Canadian of African descent, male, late teens/early 20's, handsome:
"You know he's my father?"
Me: "Glenn Gould's you father?"
Him: "Yeah-- he's my father you know and you're sitting all over him"
Me:  "He seems to be enjoying it."
Him: "Yeah-- bye father.  Goodnight."

A group of very tipsy middle-aged and randy Scottish women: "You're
Scottish, are Ye?"
Me: "No, but I'm flattered."
Other woman: "We don't want to be rude, but do you mind if she (points
to middle-aged Scottish hottie with a dress cut down to there) sits down?
Me: "Not at all!" (My friend and I stand)
Scottish hottie proceeds to passionately kiss Glenn for one photo.  For
another she straddles him with one leg and lays a French kiss on on him.
Her bosom meets his coat.
Women thank us and giggle away.  We take our seats again.

Anglo kid, early 20's tall and athletic looking at us through the photo
lens on his cell phone:
"Dude, that's classic!" He snaps our photo w/out permission.  I assume
he is American.

Older Anglo man, a bit grungy in Glenn-like hat darts up to me and says
quickly "He's listening to your conversation!" And runs away.

Countless giggles and stares and little kids pointing at the three of
us.  Several people point out to others that Glenn is a statue.  Giggles

One pair of Anglo Canadian middle-aged men-- the only who seem to know
who the statue represents walk by without looking at us.  My arm is
resting on Glenn's  well-polished leg.  The one closest to me passes
then mumbles "Leave Glenn alone!"

After an hour of antics, my friend and I did just that.  I felt the need
to apologize to the statue of all things, knowing that the real Glenn
would be mortified at even having a statue made of him-- much less a
bench where any proximity to him looks vaguely sexual to passers-by, his
pose so intimate.  And well-- it's nearly directly under the oddly
phallic CN tower and the logo for the GG studio on Glenn-Statue's his
right is Gould's signature.  Aside from the "Glenn Gould Prize" I can't
think of anything he'd hate more than his image (and his superstitious
signature) being a public specticle.  But that's not the point.  Lots of
Torontonians love their Glenn and the statue is a way to deal with his
absence, the absence of the old CBC building, the loss of Eaton's and
its statue (one native the day before explained that Glenn's nose and
leg were shiny b/c it was good luck to rub them-- like the statue at
Eaton's.)  And well, it's a way to deal with the loss of Glenn Gould's
Toronto the Good.

Prince, a new resident of the startlingly integrated multi-culti city
(to this American) said in The Globe and Mail this weekend
"Minneapolis-- you have to make your own funk.  In Toronto it's already

The Liverpool team from the game the night before stayed on our hotel
floor.  Football fans-- I can tell you they were charming gents, full of
laughter and a delight to be around and a few of them quite nervous.  I
regret wishing them well-- Liverpool Nil, Porto 1   And...Roma 1,
Celtics Nil  but the Celts fans know how to take a loss.  What a
weekend.  And I didn't even make it to most of Toronto's Carabina
festival...  Competition, crowds, glamour, steam, sexuality, rowdyness,
fans, tropical joys-- Definately NOT Glenn Gould's Toronto.

Off to Tennessee.
Mary Jo,
listowner, f_minor

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