Thursday, 21 August 2008

Barfoot book

A few quotes from a Canadian Press story about author Joan Barfoot and her new book, Exit Lines, revived memories of Joan and the Eclipse Building circa 1975.

The Toronto Sun didn't have a Saturday edition in 1975, so the second-floor newsroom was a quiet place to type if you were anxious to work on a story idea.

With a new boss to impress, Les Pyette, this newcomer thought he would spend part of his first Friday off to work on a feature and score some points.

Joan Barfoot was the only other person in the newsroom that January evening and she was annoyed that someone was invading her solitude.

She said something to the effect that nobody was supposed to be there Friday nights.

It sounded more like a proclamation for the benefit of the new kid on the block.

Not to be bullied, took my coat off, sat down and worked on a feature for about an hour.

Never bothered to ask Joan what she was working on that night. Who knows, it might have been the first of her 11 novels.

But this Toronto-born reporter, just hired by the talk-of-the-town tabloid, knew he wasn't going to accept that a newsroom was off limits at any time of day.

Three decades later, some of the quotes in the CP story sound like Joan of old.

The heading reads: "Author Joan Barfoot expects to be 'cranky, demanding' in old age"

Joan, 62, says of her own old age:

"I'm going to be so cranky and so demanding, probably without the grace I would like to have," she says from her home in London, Ont.

Of baby boomers: ""We're so used to being in control of as much as we possibly can be."

You said it, Joan, but you have to learn how to share a newsroom with a rookie on a Friday night in winter.

Seriously, good luck with Exit Lines. TSF will add it to the growing list of books authored by prolific current and former Toronto Sun Family members.

You can check out Joan's web site at and order Exit Lines at

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