Monday 24 October 2011

Linda Barnard

Memories of the Toronto Sun - Linda Barnard

In brief, I started at the Sun as a summer student while at Ryerson. Went to work at the (now-shuttered) Campbellford Herald and then the Cobourg Star. Worked freelance for the Star in the East Bureau out of Oshawa. 

In February of 1984, I was hired by the Sun.

I had to have my own car, be able to figure out which was the business end of a Sureshot and have a willingness to work 60-hour weeks for $340 when the Sun hired me. 

I had worked for Bob Vezina as a copy clerk and summer student and thought my name was "Boop Goddammit" because that's all he ever called me. 

I had a ball at the Sun and saw the world while doing it. The paper was making a lot of money in the 1980s and was delighted to spend it on covering news. Many's the time we beat the Star and regularly wrecked their day at One Yonge. 

I pissed off some people (a few of them bosses); broke a bunch of news; made lifelong friends; had beer served to me by a clown at the 20th anniversary party; won a Dunlop; cried at my desk more than once and loved Thursday nights at Crooks when there was no Saturday paper to put out and Friday was everybody's day off - and payday to boot. I still miss those wings. 

Of all the grand things about life at 333 King St. E., I adored Doug Creighton most of all. He may not have been all that and a bag of chips to the board, but he was the best boss I've ever had. 

I took the buyout in October 2001 and started at the Star in May 2002. Been there ever since and am now working as the movie writer, doing reviews, features and interviews.

Ten years out and very happily working for the Star, I am grateful to the Sun for giving me a place to learn a few things and two decades with a stellar bunch of journos to learn it from. 

Thanks for running this blog, Cos. 

Happy 40th, Sunsters. 

And Doug, wherever you are, tip the doorman and save me a seat close to the bar.


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