Saturday, 23 July 2011

Life of Brian

Updated 27/7/11
Jessica Ferlaino, Brian's cousin in Sault Ste. Marie writes:

"Brian Vallee was many things to many people, but to me he was always an inspiration.

"Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, I was always aware that my cousin was a successful author/journalist, but it wasn't until I read his work that I truly understood what a crusader he was.

"It's hard to grow up in Sault Ste. Marie with a dream that doesn't involve moving up the industrial ladder, especially if it challenges the status quo. My mom always shared stories about Brian, how he was my grandmother's favourite and how he had so many achievements.

"Recently, I have been spending time on Lake Lauzon being inspired by the beauty of Northern Ontario, when I was informed Brian spent much time out there. I could see what he saw. I could feel what he felt when he was out there.

"I was always hoping to meet Brian, to be able to sit down and talk with him about his work and mine, and how he truly made me believe that no matter where you come from if you want to write and you have a passion for what you do that you can go anywhere with it and be the change you want to see.

"Although I'll never have the opportunity to meet Brian now, the impact he has had on my life from afar will never be forgotten. Thank you Brian. I wish I could have told you in person what you have meant to me and how you have shaped the writer in me.

"Les Pyette, 1970s Toronto Sun city editor and former Sun executive now in retirement in London, Ontario, writes:

"It was  Brian, Ron Base and Lynda Ruddy's  recommendations that got me to the Toronto Sun in 1974. They had stayed all night at my home in Windsor when I was working for the Star.

"Fed them coffee, bacon and eggs in the morning and they headed back to Toronto. Two months later, I left the Windsor Star and was working with them in Toronto.

"For me to get to the Windsor Star in 1971 from the Sault Star, it was Brian who recommended me to the publisher of the Windsor Star.

"We will all miss Chico - my pet name for one of humanity's great ones. Brian was one of a kind, a gentle soul, a great talent and a down-to-earth nice man." 

Bob McAllister: "Lake Lauzon just won't be the same knowing that Brian Vallee isn't at his beloved cottage with a cold beer and a great story for any visitor.

"Then again, maybe Brian will always be at the cottage."

Ray Bennett on his The Cliff Edge blog, with a great photo:

Ron Base, former Toronto Sun colleague of Brian's and a close friend for 42 years:

Canadian Press story in the Hamilton Spectator:

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