Pat Blythe – Pacing ONERUN, a Birthday with a “Cherry” on Top …and Music!

The business of business cards….little pieces of history….a nostalgic trail of change of memories. Each one has its own story….of the owner, the business, the year, even the decade.  Headed to the basement to check the dehumidifier and stood gaping in overwhelming awe at what still has to be done with much of Chris’s “stuff” over five years after his death. Okay…..deep breath… box at a time. My eyes landed on the “box o’ cards” so upstairs it came. It resulted in a magical wander back in time for an entire afternoon. I do not exaggerate when I say the man kept EVERYTHING. I was stunned to find my very first business card from Associated Creative Talent (ACT). Ahhhh, was the summer of ‘79. I had only been in Toronto three months. What a life-changing year that turned out to be.

A puzzle of cards, just part of the collection…..find yours

Those were the days…….

Head shops cards…..

….complete with screens

So much reminiscing, surprises and chuckles…..I was delighted to find these treasures. Some of the names and businesses include The Gasworks, Nickelodeon/The Nick Dining Room (1980/1), Dee Lippingwell (photographer/Music Express), Rob Gallo (CBS Records), Ron Scribner (Music Shoppe & Bigland PR & Advertising), Mike Tilka (Anthem Records and Tapes), Attic Records, Dave Beatty (Q.E.D. Media), Bob Connolly (Tube Records), Nicholas Poliwko (Exposure Promotions), Joey Cee (National Music Convention), Cliff Hunt (Falcon Records), Gemini Music Agency, Rodney Bowes (Bomb Records), The Imps, Sandy Graham (Concert Showcase), Bob McCaffrey (Truly Amazing Productions), Mike Komar (Key To Music), Bruce Wilson (God of Thunder Productions), Michael White (The Agency/Trick or Treat Entertainment & Booking Agency), Long John Baldry, Paula McGirr ( Astro Top Talent Productions/Promocom Graphics/lawyer). The Demo Studio, Tom Atom (Chameleon Records) and so many more.

The middle card is metal

One of my dearest memories is of my first real friend in this city. Vince LaMagna, who owned Country Cut ‘n Curl at the corner of Dundonald and Yonge, right across the street from The Gasworks became my mentor, my gatekeeper (always vetting any man I brought to the store), personal hairdresser and best of all one of my dearest friends. Vince (or Vinnie as I called him) was always looking out for me…..if anybody had my back, it was him. Although we lost touch over the years after he moved to California, Vinnie was the best angel and support a young girl could have after moving to the big city alone. Hairdresser to the stars, (nothing like swinging around in your chair and coming face-to-face with Bob McBride (Lighthouse), his hair all done up in tiny pink rollers getting his perm….oh for a camera phone then) you never knew who you were going to run into. Vinnie took care of my mane for 10 years, never accepting a penny from me. I can still “see” and “hear” him tapping on the window, motioning me to come into the shop for an afternoon of pampering. I think of him often….my heart misses him.

For the fourth time I was delighted to drive the pace car for ONERUN in London, Ontario.  The Jeep was all decked out in balloons, pink flamingos, flowers and ribbons; we did a steady pace of 10K/hr for 100 kilometers for 11.5 hours….that’s tough when your foot tends to be made more of lead than feathers. My sister Christine, always the best co-pilot, kept the bubbles, cheering and snacks flowing while marking off each kilometer. This is the fourth year I’ve driven in this race and the camaraderie, love and support amazes me every time. Theresa’s energy and light just galvanizes everyone around her and I confess, I love to be part of the whole.

Theresa Carriere finishing 100k, June 14, 2019

Fight Song – Rachel Platten

A quick history and chronology of ONERUN:

2007 – Theresa Carrriere is diagnosed with breast cancer

2010 – The first 100k ONERUN from London, Ontario to Sarnia in one day, Theresa runs the entire route herself. The theme is “Running for your someone”. She raises $180,000.

2011 – Theresa runs another 100km in one day on June 10, 2011, this time from Sarnia to London.  $200,000 for Breast Cancer research is raised. A new record.

2014 – Theresa completed her third 100km trek, this time to support Cancer Care programs that assist cancer patients and their families. She was joined at each kilometer mark by someone within the community who would #RunForTheirSomeone….showing their support and give tribute to their loved ones.

2015 – A fourth run between Sarnia and London in one day. ONERUN’s momentum has grown and more dollars raised for cancer support and research.  Theresa’s largest support teams are the schools. They line the routes by the hundreds to cheer her on. She visits schools around Ontario, speaking to the students, motivating them to “reach their potential” but also to give back to the communities they live I and to spread the word. Her message….”From Challenge to Triumph”.

2017 – The first ever ONERUN week in London, Ontario and high schools across London host their own ONERUN events. Three thousand staff and students raised $100,000, running their own 100k.

2018 – ONERUN reaches the $1 million mark. Ten schools in ten days join together to create their own ONERUN events.

2019 – ……and the ONERUN journey with Theresa at the forefront is on again! Meeting runners along the way, she ran the entire 100k herself around some of the most scenic routes in and around London

That’s my beautiful and crazy sister and co-pilot second from the left (yes, crazy runs in the family)

Starting line and my ride for the day…..

Little supporters at the side of the road…..

Photographers were popping out of ditches…..

NO…..that’s my escort…..5-minute break

Theresa with her team of volunteers behind her

To find out more about ONERUN click here  …..and now for a few photos…..

A Birthday Celebration…..

Ms Cherish Marie….her smile can light up a room

A very Happy Birthday to our own Cherish Stevenson, the lovely, loveable and much loved owner of Cherry Cola’s Rock N’ Rola Cabaret & Lounge. Packed with partiers we heard performances from Beyond The Cage, The Reed Effect, Second Pass, Jim Dan Dee and The Castor Troys. This time I spent more time being part of the night than capturing it on camera (although it did sneak out at the end). Wishing you another year of love and light Ms Cherish Marie!

The birthday cake(s)

Cherish wo-manning the bar at Cherry Cola’s

Cherish and Cherie Currie

I appear to be on a musical discovery mission these days. I love to promote the new but I’m constantly being introduced to and uncovering all sorts of music and artists my ears and brain has not yet been exposed to before today. ….so I’m a bit all over the map.

This is an incredible tribute to my favourite Genesis song. I love that you can see, in detail, how each instrument is played. Back in the 70s I would follow Toronto band Nightwinds around just so I could see and hear them perform this song. The leading track off Genesis’s second album Foxtrot, “Watcher of the Skies”, for some reason, left a deep and lasting impression and to this day I thrill to this piece of music. Who’s my favourite prog rock band? Genesis of course.

Watcher of the Skies – Cover by Andy Arnold and the Wheeler Brothers

Watcher of the Skies – Genesis (live on the Midnight Special)

This hugely-loved Brazilian composer/pianist/songwriter was felled by a heart attack June 8 at the ridiculously young age of 47. Andre Matos wrote some exquisite pieces and Fairytale, in particular, is the one that has touched me the most. Matos was a member of several different Brazilian heavy metal / rock bands including  Angra, Shaman, Viper, Symfonia, Avalanch, HDK and Virgo (which is also his astrological sign) while also handling his own solo career.  His love of classical music is evident in whatever he wrote and his ability to blend it seamlessly with heavy metal and rock was fantastical.

Fairytale – Shaman (Andre Matos)

Innocence – Shaman (Andre Matos)

One fine Canadian band…..there will never be another like them. From Bob McBride’s big , rich voice that could fill a stadium sans mic to Skip Prokop’s down-to-earth, no pussyfooting around personality and incredible, drumming, Their songs could lift you up and fill your heart or tell a wonderful story that was in some way, important for us to learn.  ….and the brass and harmonies….mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

One Fine Morning – Lighthouse

1849 – Lighthouse

Introduced to Thundercat by a good friend…..this is a great tune with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins). Thank you Craig for this and Micheal Hedges. Love this!

Show You The Way – Thundercat

Drunk – Thundercat (full album)

All I can say is exquisite….. Hedges untimely passing in a car accident in 1997 at the age of only 43 left many gaping holes in the world of guitarists. He has inspired many and his mastery of the instrument is seemless, mesmerizing and beautiful. Described as “innovative” and “kinetic” he was first and foremost a composer who happened to play guitar. “Michael was unique. His music transcends genre and trend. It’s truly musical, fun and enlightening.” – Steve Vai  “One of the most brilliant musicians in America.” – David Crosby  “There was simply no one like him.” – Bonnie Raitt

Boundaries – Michael Hedges

(wait for the harp guitar….made in Canada)

Not of This Earth – Keller Williams (a tribute to and about Michael Hedges)

…..and brand new. Recommended by another friend…..

Welcome To Your Life – Felicia McMinn Band

I love my friends….especially when they share good music!


All photographs ©2019 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera


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! 

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