Saturday 31 May 2008

Day 1: Joan Sutton

Joan Sutton Straus, a Day Oner and former Toronto Sun Lifestyle editor, remembers moods experienced that memorable weekend in 1971 when the Tely folded and the Sun rose:

"A blur. The Blur came from the wake the night before. I still have the T-shirt with all those Tely names autographed front and back.

And panic, because I arrived at the Eclipse building to discover that this was real: I had an office of my own, with a very large hole in the wall, through which I could see George Gross.

I had a page to fill and can't remember what I filled it with. I do remember realizing that I would have to fill page after page, day after day.

In the beginning, it was a dusty, cold place, with a hole in the wall at the back and plaster dust everywhere, but it was warmed by the spirit of pioneering and our readers.

Our readers, furious that the Tely had been closed, brought us food and drink and bought the paper and forgave us our typos. It was a suitable setting for a great adventure.

In recalling the glamor and headiness of those days, I think everyone sometimes forget how very hard we worked. I wrote fashion, food, a daily column, a weekly interview, and to get advertising, we produced supplements, bridal, fur, salutes to career girls and volunteers.

George Anthony covered film, theater, cabaret, plus a daily column and features.

On that first day, given the lateness of the night before and the fact that I did have a husband who was justifiably grumpy, and two small kids, I didn't stay around for the first paper to come off the press.

But next morning, I was in the car in my nightgown and bathrobe, going from one old Tely newspaper box to another and another . . . all empty. I went home totally dismayed, sure that there had been a press breakdown, or a delivery problem.

Not at all. The papers were all sold out. Even in the suburbs, readers were going out to buy the new Sun. That's how it started for me. And one of these days, I'll write about what went on from there . . ."

Thanks for the memories, Joan.

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