I never want to make a big deal about birthdays. So just the facts.
I was born in a Budapest hospital on this day in 1954. It was a happy day for a beautiful young woman who was barely out of her teens. Rose Adler, a dept store clerk, was only 20. My dad Mike worked in a factory as a shipping clerk. He was 32. Two years later they made the fateful decision of leaving for the promised land-Canada. Thank you Canada for giving them their freedom to raise me without fear that their son’s big mouth would land him in prison, as it surely would have in the dictatorship they had been living.
Thank you Canada for fulfilling my dream to be behind a microphone for 41 years now. I was only 19 and living in Montreal when over the Christmas holiday of 1973, I got a call from Keith James the program director of CKXL Calgary, one of Western Canada’s great radio stations, owned by Moffatt Communications, the broadcast empire started by Lloyd Moffatt right here in Winnipeg. Keith was offering me the opportunity to do an evening show while attending the University of Calgary during the day. He even offered to ship my motorcycle out to Calgary. Few things gave me more pleasure back then than those drives from Calgary to Banff and Lake Louise and into BC.
Radio gave me a new life complete with something no kid from Montreal even dreamed of, a Western Canadian heart. The West to me was as different from the East as night was from day. Much more casual, much more free, and much more wide open for ordinary folks like me with no connections to the rich and the powerful. Radio gave me the chance to meet some of the finest people from everywhere in the world, the kind of education that no university I know of can possibly offer. And I have been to lots of them. So I have no trouble saying that with deep conviction. You, my listeners, have been my greatest teachers and I hope you appreciate how much your lessons have meant to me. Hope I’ve done a good job passing your wisdom on to others.
I hope all your birthdays are meaningful to you. I love you for the support over the many years and for being where you are right now, reading a heartfelt Thank You Canada for my privileged role in greeting you in each every morning on the Radio and here on Facebook and on Twitter. I only wish I could be at a big table somewhere with all of you to hoist a mug and say Thank You for the past, the present, and most importantly, the future. Thanks for the great ride.
Now let’s keep riding for as long as the imagination highway will take us.