I was on Facebook during my lunch hour today and realized that, A) I have a lot of friends, some of whom I have never met; and B) I am in a lot of FB groups.
You are probably in quite a few groups as well. I thought it might be interesting to tell you about some of the groups I have joined in the last couple of years. I don't always participate in what these groups offer, but at least I can see what they're up to.
These are in no particular order.
This is the saddest one of the bunch. The group "In Loving Memory of Jaclyn Hennessey" is in honour of a young woman killed in downtown Halifax in 2009, or 2010. For reasons I have never discussed until this moment on this blog, I decided to join the group. You see, Ms. Hennessey was hit by a truck at the corner of Barrington and Sackville Streets. That same corner had a Tim Horton's (which is now a Starbucks), and it was our habit to have coffee there once or twice a day. We were sitting in the corner of that Tim's as she crossed the street, not noticing the truck that was turning left on to Sackville at that moment. I will never, can never, forget the sight of seeing her body hit the pavement, which happened in my direct line of sight. There is one glimmer of good in this in that she was killed instantly. I decided to join the group because I wanted to know something about her rather than just how she died. People continue to post messages to that group on a weekly basis. She must have been a lovely person in every sense of the word. Nearly her very last act in this world was to smile at a homeless person panhandling at that corner, just before she stepped out into oblivion.
The List of Unsolved Deaths page is just about that. Unsolved deaths are discussed, some of them going back a couple hundred years.
The Banana Man FB page is about the curious man named "A. Robins" who performed an act involving fruit that would jump out of his pocket, an oversized magnet, a unique trill that made him sound unhuman, and an act that must be seen to be believed. He designed and created all the props himself in his small workshop in his home in New York; I like to imagine that his workshop is similar to the one my father had in the family home, and which is still there. At some time in the late '40's or early '50's, he retired from the act and it was purchased by someone else who became more famous for having appeared on children's television shows. Legend has it that the costume and the props could not be washed and cleaned; over the years they acquired a stench that made it uncomfortable for people to be downwind from him. Since the act never really changed, whenever they decided to have the "Banana Man" on, they would just send him another cheque. Sounds like a good deal to me. Here is an embed of a Banana Man performance from a 1939 Red Skelton short film. This would be the original Banana Man.
Let's do a couple more.
I've requested to join "Halifax and Nova Scotia's Growing List of Unsolved Murders". For a province of less than a million souls, we have quite a few of them. I believe there are a few not mentioned here. One would be the mysterious death of someone during the VE Day riots in Halifax. I need to research that a bit more, but I believe an enlisted man was killed somewhere around Citadel Hill, and that death was never solved. As well, I recall the death of a man around Citadel Hill around 20 years ago. For those not in town, that area has been and likely still is a place where gay men go cruising. This gentleman apparently met someone that evening who did not like his lifestyle enough to kill him. I do not believe that crime has been solved. I also recall the death of a man who lived a couple streets over from me, about 20 years ago as well. He was in the habit of bringing men home with him, and blackmailing them over something to be imagined. One of these men apparently took a dim view to it. If that murder was solved I never heard about it, and I try to keep up on these things. These deaths are not listed anywhere on the Halifax Police website. But they and this FB page do mention the mysterious gangland-style death of Michael Resk, which happened all the way back in 1955, at a street corner that today has a church near it. Rumours continue to swirl around this case, but I am not a person kept up-to-date on these things (but I would like to be.) In March of 1996, on the old Hotline show hosted by Brian Phillips. they discussed unsolved murders in the area. There was quite a bit of talk about Mr. Resk's death, which 40 years later continued to provoke discussion.
"Griff and Caroline's Fan Club" is a page devoted to Griff Henderson and Caroline Parker, the long-time morning show hosts on the former Kool FM. When the powers that be decided to change the format to "Radio 965", they decided that Griff and Caroline were not going with, despite the fact that they had a very loyal fan base and were delivering solid ratings. What have you done for me lately? They are both talented folks and will find something soon, but probably not in Halifax.
The last one for this evening is "Halifax Radio Memories". It is a page all about Halifax radio from back in the day. These folks wallow in nostalgia, and I enjoy it a lot. Scott Snailham is a charter member. He worked for CHNS radio for years. When that station was moving out of its long-time Tobin Street digs, he was mandated with cleaning out the attic and tossing stuff into a dumpster. He discovered long-forgotten acetate tapes of old radio shows from that heritage station. Old game shows, and variety hours, talk shows hosted by Clive Schaefer and Bob Oxley; a unique "infomercial" by Hank Snow, who had a show on CHNS in the 1930's. So much other stuff that he elected to take home, and not throw out. Bless him for that. In the last couple of years he has taken to digitizing these old acetate tapes and putting them up in the cloud for folks to download. I wish there had been Scott Snailhams for CJCH and CFDR, but one can't have everything.
Those are but a few groups I am a member of on Facebook. If you like, I will do a another post listing other groups I am a member of. Some of them might surprise you. In the mean time, tell me about some FB groups you're a member of. I'd love to hear about them.
See you tomorrow.