Monday 19 September 2011

Ian Harvey

Memories of the Toronto Sun - Ian Harvey:  

The Sun newsroom was my home for 23 years.

I was hired after an interview with Les Pyette in December 1978. He looked at my clips then asked the critical question: Do you have a car and a
camera? Yes, I said. "Okay, you'll start at $275 a week," he said. 

I followed Lorrie Goldstein over from the Scarborough Mirror (and later Jean Sonmor followed me. Alan Parker and Gord Walsh were also part of the Mirror Mafia).

My friends and I had rented a chalet in ski country for the season so I
spent New Years up there partying and then was to report for work at 2 p.m. on Jan. 1, 1979. I drove through a massive snowstorm from Collingwood, talking my way past OPP roadblocks and down into the city where Lee Lester was on the city desk.

My first assignment was to take a tip from Norm Bettswho was calling in from the airport, either on his way to Jamaica or on his way back. At some point I was also told to call John Downing at home. 

"I was making love to my wife and you've disturbed me," boomed Downing. 

Of course, I was a tad taken back but I soon realized he was winding me up.  

Anyway, the point of the story is that I had joined an incestuous little family and despite my plan to stay for five years and head to the Star, I ended up living at home for 23 years.

There are so many memories of growing up there. Getting married, having
kids, getting divorced . . . doing stupid things I wish I hadn't, struggling to keep my mouth shut and my temper under control, neither of which I was very good at.

Working with some great people along the way: Mike Simpson, Bob Burt, Cam
Norton, Lloyd Kemp, Bob Vezina, David Kendall, Bill Dunphy, Peter Young, Linda B, the photogs. I might as well just name the entire roster over the years.

I remember typing (!) a letter to Doug Creighton complaining the newsroom
raise that year - somewhere around 1982 - was a little meagre and cited the Star's package and, of course, the famous promise: The smallest and best paid newsroom. He wrote back and agreed and threw all of us some extra dough.

Try that today. Or Doug taking Heather Bird and I to lunch at Winston's
for no reason other than we'd flippantly mentioned at some event we'd never been to Winston's.  

I remember making mischief at the annual editorial review meetings, butting heads with editors, writing an expose about WWF wrestlers, strippers and steroids when I was supposed to write a puff piece. 

Getting kicked out of the newsroom and banished to City Hall as the transit columnist, hanging out at the Press Club on Thursday nights, having Fridays off, getting stuck working 7 to 2s because only five of us on GA had cars. 

More than a job, it was a privilege and an honour. And yes, it was a dysfunctional family, but it was still family.

PS, thank you for undertaking the TSF site. I always check in and I
hope you'll call out for someone to take it over from you. You've done a wonderful thing these past five years.

Ian Harvey
416-930-2149 m
"Bark with Byte"

If you are Day Oner or one of the hundreds of men and women in all departments who followed The 62 and want to share your memories of the Toronto Sun in the next few weeks, email TSF.

We want to give everyone the opportunity to mark the 40th anniversary.

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