Pat Blythe – Winter?…Gilda’s Club…a Birthday…and a Little Christmas Music!

I don’t where the time goes but December seems to arrive almost unexpectedly and then….here it is….banging on the front door. Always seemingly on the run, the days just fly by and I sometimes wonder if I’ve even accomplished something, anything, wading through the onslaught of messages, texts, phone calls (yes people still actually talk), emails, etc. and then there’s a column to write and photos to review and oh ya, Christmas is almost here. Then there’s the TO DO list which seems to get longer….not shorter. The hurry up and wait syndrome, lineups for damn near everything. I feel like I’m playing the old game of Red Light, Green Light (remember that one?) and not just in the vehicle.

Then there’s the weather. Mom Nature can’t seem to make a decision. Cold? Warm? Rain? Snow? Flurries? Freezing? Ooops….back to rain. I’m not sure if it’s climate change or just “the change” or maybe she’s just trying her best to keep Old Man Winter at bay. The flamingo lights hanging across my back window seem to beckon (or maybe make a mockery of) warmer summer days. The multi-coloured Christmas lights that surround the back deck state otherwise. There is snow on the ground, albeit just a covering, but rain is on the way. My gas bill is up and down like the proverbial yo-yo. So, as we plunge into all of the frivolity and craziness of the holidays, battle the elements whatever they are and race toward the end of the year, stop! Close your eyes, put your hand on your chest, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and silently feel your heart beat. Say a quiet thank you, for you are still here. Appreciate the good, toss the toxic, and oh, pass that drink. It’s cocktail time somewhere in the world.

Now…..ready, set…..go!

Gilda’s Club….

I attended, sans camera, It’s Always Something, the annual fundraiser for Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto. Held at The Carlu this year, it was a lovely intimate setting and more conducive for the after show mingling. Hosted by Ron James, the evening’s entertainment was provided by renowned jazz singer Holly Cole, country artist Tim Hicks, Canadian Idol winner singer Theo Tams and comedienne Elvira Kurt. A shout out to the “house band” bassist Mike Pellarin, on guitars  Frank Staffieri, drummer Steve Heathcote, David Atkinson on keyboards, Paul Otway on trumpet, Karl Silveira on trombone, John Johnson on woodwinds and producer Levon Ichkhanian.

Love, Gilda – Official Trailer

Founded in New York in 1995 in honour of comedienne Gilda Radner who believed “no one should face cancer alone”, Gilda’s Club provides a warm and safe haven for “those who have cancer, their families, and friends……to build emotional and social support as a supplement to medical care.”Wikipedia. Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto offers these and many other services, advocating for “social and emotional support to be part of cancer care.” As many of you know, Chris died of lung cancer October 1, 2013. For the last two years of his life we embraced Gilda’s Club, became members and made many lifelong friends there. We participated in their dinner program and group sessions where members were free to discuss absolutely anything, providing the relief and freedom to “unmute” the conversation, allowing their “outdoor” voices to speak about the disease that has invaded their lives and turned their worlds upside down.

Lets Talk Dirty To The Animals – Gilda Radner

Gilda Live – The Way We Were

Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto opened its doors in 2005 and provide their services free of charge.  Supported entirely by generous donations and fundraising events such as It’s Always Something, the Club offers both emotional and educational support along with other programs such as Healthy Living series or Storytelling Through Arts and Technology workshops. Open to the entire family and primary caregivers, Gilda’s fills a critical void in the world of cancer care and treatment. To find out more about Gilda’s Club click here

It’s Roxanne’s birthday!

Fellow scribe, Veronica to my Betty and good friend Roxanne Tellier celebrated a milestone birthday recently and many of us gathered together to continue the celebration. Arranged by Barbette Kensington and Rox’s hubby Shawn O’Shea , we congregated at Supermarket in Kensington Market this past Saturday (her “real” birth date is December 4). It was great to see friends and raise a glass or two.

There’s that smile…Roxanne with hubby Shawn O’Shea

As DBAWIS’s political analyst Roxanne’s columns are clean and concise (not to mention well researched) commentaries that cut to the chase, wasting no words and getting straight to the heart of the matter. Her perspective is sometimes like reading between the lines, she manages to see what most of us don’t. Whether it pisses you off or you’re in complete agreement, it’s always Sunday’s essential read and a buffet for thought.

Diva Roxanne

I have had the fun and pleasure of traipsing around Canadian Music Week (CMW) with Roxanne as we checked in on the sessions during the day and checked out the bands at night. Stubborn, strongly opinionated and a self-admitted diva, an incredible conversationalist and a fabulous vocalist (she’s really has been singing since she was 10 months old), Roxanne has one of the biggest (and softest) hearts I know and one of the most beautiful smiles. She’s become a good friend, who, when called on stage to sing a song or two, will frequently perform the one song I love to hear her sing the most, Stand By Me. Roxanne is also the only birthday girl I know to provide her own birthday cake…..not one, but two!

Love you my friend!

Music…a Little Christmas Magic….

Last Christmas – Post Modern Jukebox

Mary Did You Know – Pentatonix

Good King Wenceslas – Loreena McKennitt

Frosty The Snowman – Nat King Cole

Coventry Carol – Loreena McKennitt

White Is In The Winter Night – Enya

I love Gregorian Chants….

Veni Veni (Oh Come Oh Come Emanuel) – Manheim Steamroller

Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and David Bowie

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Fifth Harmony

Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy – Lindsey Sterling

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker (The Royal Ballet)

Angels We Have Heard On High – Home Free

Christmas Time Is Here – Vince Guaraldi Trio (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

Next to A Charlie Brown Christmas music, this is probably my favourite Christmas song. It touches something deep inside…

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo – Trans-Siberian Orchestra

That’s it for this year…..Christmas and family are taking over and this scribe is going to partake of the festivities and family time.

Pat xoxo

©2018 Barbette Kensington – photo of Roxanne and Shawn

Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Please scroll down and leave a comment. Thank you.

dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

2 Responses to “Pat Blythe – Winter?…Gilda’s Club…a Birthday…and a Little Christmas Music!”

  1. Peter Montreuil Says:

    Well done!

  2. awwww … thanks so much, Pat! Love you too! Happy Christmas! 😉

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