Like many Canadians, I felt a profound sense of loss last Wednesday when I found out that Stuart McLean had passed away. He was a bestselling author, journalist, and host of The Vinyl Cafe radio show, a wonderful program that introduced us to a series of humorous, heartwarming stories about a fictional family and their friends and neighbours. Stuart’s storytelling brought these characters to life and made us love them and relate to them.


When I heard the sad news, it hit me almost as if a family member had passed away. My family members and I even called each other and talked as if we had lost someone close to us. Stuart McLean’s storytelling enriched our lives, and his loss will leave a great hole in the fabric of Canadian culture.

The Vinyl Cafe family summed it up perfectly in their Message to the Vinyl Cafe Community:

Stuart connected us – to our country and to each other. He entertained us, he made us think, he made us smile. Occasionally he made us cry. And, through all of that, he reminded us that life is made up of small moments. We never know which ones will be forgotten and which ones will stay with us forever.

So, in the spirit of celebrating life’s small moments, I just wanted to share a simple way Stuart McLean’s storytelling touched my life.

In 2005-2007, my husband and I were living in Calgary, Alberta, and I was working as a closed captionist. It was the job I talked about in a previous post, Memories of Closed Captioning and Magnum, P.I. Every Saturday morning, a package of VHS tapes would arrive by courier for me to transcribe over the following week. Not being a morning person, I’d set the radio alarm so I’d be awake in time to receive the delivery.

Normally I’d feel a bit stressed out about having to wake up early on a Saturday. But not this time. The radio was set to CBC, and the show that woke me up was The Vinyl Cafe. So every Saturday began with laughter as my husband and I sat and listened to Stuart’s stories until the delivery arrived. Thankfully we weren’t laughing loud enough to miss the sound of the doorbell! 🙂

I could talk about many other moments, but I’ll leave it here for now. I’m thankful that through The Vinyl Cafe recordings we can continue to laugh and cry as we listen to the adventures of Dave, Morley, and their family and friends.


As Stuart said, life is made up of small moments. Some will be forgotten, and others will stay with us forever. Thank you, Stuart McLean, for reminding us of that. May we make all those small moments count.

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