Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Home sick with the measles: Discovering Canada AM

Pamela Wallin
Norm Perry
Sandie Rinaldo
Sick from school
It was Grade 4 on a Wednesday afternoon. My stomach was itchy and, near the end of the day, I discovered a bunch of red spots on my tummy. It was the red measles. I showed my teacher Mrs. Lastuka who told me to stay home. That’s right, I actually flashed her my spotted belly.

My mom instantly knew I had to stay home. We figured it was near the end of the week, and I likely would not be better in a day or two, but for sure would be with four days rest.

So, I stayed home. One of the traditions in our house, and many others I later found out, is recuperating by lying under blankets on the couch in the living room. So I camped out for days on the couch, starting on Wednesday night when I got home from school.

Sleep was fitful, and I awoke early in the morning. I turned on the TV and flipped through our three channels to discover the only thing worth watching: Canada AM. It was hosted by Pamela Wallin and Norm Perry, and Sandie Rinaldo read the news. They were all much younger.

Two mornings to shape a lifetime
There are certain things I remember about those two days. They did a retrospective on the different Canada AM coffee cups over time. There were movie reviews, Wally Macht did sports, and lots of news. To be honest, the fact Romper Room immediately followed Canada AM, then CBC had The Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup stuck out more for me. Still, that's when I first saw Canada AM and it left a lasting impression. My interest has waxed and waned depending on the hosts, because they really set the tone for the show. (Interestingly, as the 1980s closed, a familiar face joined Canada AM: John Roberts, the former MuchMusic veejay gone legit. We all knew him as "J.D." Roberts). The current trio of Beverly Thomson, Marci Ien and Jeff Hutcheson are solid, so I have been watching Canada AM more lately. There is a certain comfort knowing it will be there in the morning. It has been, virtually my whole life.

This year is the 40th anniversary of Canada AM, and recently I checked out an online retrospective. It really brought back a lot of memories and reminded me of that first time I ever watched the show. For a trip down memory lane, and a look at the past 40 years of Canada AM, please visit the source of those photos:

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