Every single Sunday at noon...he's the source of much good humour and many wise words.
Stuart writes amazingly funny and poignant stories, shares them with his listeners on CBC's Vinyl Cafe each Sunday...listening to radio stories reminds me of being a small child, sitting cross-legged on my chair, in front of the small radio on the kitchen table.
Years ago, The Lone Ranger was my favorite story. It always stopped me in my tracks when I heard the theme song blaze out of the little radio. Today I know it as the William Tell Overture. Back then, I believed it to be The Lone Ranger actually galloping towards me, through the radio.
Stuart McLean doesn't have a grand overture for a theme song, but he has a way with words that makes me laugh and cry, every single time I listen to his weekly program.
Today, he talked about life being lived in the details, not in the grandiose plans that we make for our lives. He shared a story about a friend of his who obsessively-compulsively planned her life, down to the nth detail, yet one night at a friend's house for dinner, she met a guy.
A few weeks later, they are getting married, and Stuart commented on the way that his friend's new life path didn't come because of her penchant for a well-planned lifestyle. It came, instead, from a small unplanned dinner at someone's house. Her life is changing in a major way from a small detail...dinner.
Nothing profound, nothing magical.
Just a funny and well-spoken guy telling stories that he writes. He's created an entire family through his Morley and Dave stories, which I can enjoy over and over from his collection of books and CD's. They are basic and ordinary tales of a family living a basic and ordinary life. Yet, somehow Stuart makes them glisten with a myriad of minute details...small things...that give these folks life and breath and believability.
If you want to listen to Stuart's stories, there is a link on his website for the CBC in Canada and for the US radio stations that carry his program. You can also hear his show online, on Sirius radio, by downloading podcasts...he's everywhere!
Stuart also has started a Story Exchange on his website. Send in your stories and he'll listen to them and read a few of the best on his show. How does he know what makes a good story? He used to teach writing in the Journalism program at Ryerson Unversity in Toronto!
I've sent in a few pieces, so we'll see what happens.
Who knows? Maybe, just maybe one of them will be good enough to make it onto The Vinyl Cafe.
That would be a big thing for me.