Thursday, 15 November 2012

An email from Jim Garnett

An email from Jim Garnett, former award-winning Toronto Sun freelance photographer:

Hi John,
Hope this email finds you well. I recently discovered the blog (TSF) and have enjoyed it a lot. I'm not an-ex-Sun staffer, although I worked for the newspaper for a span of twenty-six years.

1985 - 1992 Freelance photographer, answering newsroom 'phones, police desk overnight (weekends), security officer, head of Toronto Sun security (emergency cover after Smiley was fired - or asked to leave - depending on who was telling you the story) and even mailroom guy for a while (doing inserts into the newspaper).

1995 - 2011 Freelance photographer both in Croatia and back in Canada, police desk overnight (weekends) and freelance travel writer (one time only!)

I had the time of my life at the Sun and met some #$%@ing legends. I was so hard up when I began freelancing I slept in my car to save money so I could pay my gas bills driving around looking for 'spot' news so I guess I created a bit of a label for myself. I also won five 'News Photo of the Year' awards (Toronto Fire twice, Metro Police, Toronto Ambulance and Hamilton Police) so I guess I learned something.

Some 'stars' - aside from yourself - Bob Carroll, Barry Gray, Len Fortune, Jack Cusano, Mike Cassese, Greig Reekie, Bill Sandford, Mike Peake, Paul (Pollywog) Henry, Warren Toda, Mark O'Neill, Rob Lamberti, Ed Montieth, Peter Brewster . . . God, how I miss these guys.

Crooks Bar was our haunt before Betty's. Sneaking home along the QEW after some brews caught one or two out when the red lights came on in the rear view mirror. How sad it is to read how Quebecor have driven 333 into the ground.

Anyway, please say hello to everyone for me. After working a great deal for CHCH-TV in Hamilton and CTV in Toronto, I was diagnosed terminally ill in 2009.

My mother is now 85 and pretty frail so I'm in the UK now taking care of her. But my illness is pretty severe too. I just got out of hospital after an infection meant surgery and quite a lot of my right foot had to be amputated. So I'm at home trying to learn to walk again on what's left.

Take care mate!

Jim Garnett
333 Jack of all trades

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