1967 Revisited

(Photo from the Galt Museum archives)

Here it is April and as I awoke to a blanket of snow this morning I am once again (oh geez is he going to talk about 1967 again?) reminded of the mother of all snow storms of 1967. (Yes I am going to talk about it again because it was unbelievable.)

If you were around in 1967 in Lethbridge there would have been 23 cm of snow on the ground on April 26. That was what was left of the 61 cm of snow that had fallen on April 21. On April 28 of that year another 52.8 cm of snow would fall. It really put a damper on the golf business.

I would have been 11 years old so the best part of it all for me was that we didn’t have to go to school. For my dad who delivered bread out into the country it was the only time in his McGavin’s career that he simply couldn’t get on the road to do his job.

Since I wasn’t paying taxes yet, I didn’t really care that Revenue Canada showed unprecedented mercy by giving people an extension to get their taxes in because for many it wasn’t possible to get to a mailbox.

The armed forces were deployed to help ranchers get to their cattle. CJOC radio went on emergency broadcast mode and later won an award for their continuous coverage.

People were driving down the middle of the road in their skidoos.

I remember seeing the longest icicles in my life that hung from the eavestrough.

Since it was April, the snow was so saturated with moisture it made clearing snow an arduous task for even the fittest of people.

I don’t remember ever being afraid or concerned about what was going on but I’m sure there were a lot of people who endured some temporary hardships.

As I recall, Lethbridge was the direct bullseye of the storm. Calgary got a fraction of the snow that we got. I’m not sure if Lethbridge angered Mother Nature that year but she sure got her revenge. I blame Trump.

We’ve certainly had our severe weather in my lifetime with other spring snowstorms and  the Flood of the Century in 1995 where I still can’t believe the Oldman River was so high they actually closed Whoop-Up Drive for safety reasons. (I had to drive all the way to Picture Butte to get to work.)

But I think the storm of 1967 still ranks as The Big One.

I promise I won’t talk about it again… Until next year..

You Know You’re Getting Old When…Today’s Funny 5


  1. You know you’re getting old when you lean over to turn the radio on in your car and you put your back out.
  2. You know you’re getting old when you metaphorically decide to get on the Cane Train and you sprain your ankle.
  3. You know you’re getting old when the microwave goes off and you answer your phone.
  4. You know you’re getting old when a red light turns green and you know you’re supposed to do something so you honk the horn. (This actually happened to a friend.)
  5. You know you’re getting old when you talk about Dancing With The Stars with the people you work with and you’re the only one who knows who Charo is. (FYI: It really doesn’t help to boisterously yell out Cuchie Cuchie!!)

Cool Cars, Interesting People-Cal Toth

Today’s Cool Cars, Interesting People is brought to you by Parascack Family Chiropractic.


Cal Toth is a very talented piano player and singer who can be seen regularly around town performing his Dueling Pianos show.


As I mention in this episode I run into him on occasion at Safeway and he always has an interesting story to tell me. So I thought he would be a perfect candidate for a ride and a coffee.

Our vehicle comes from Angie Olsen. It’s a 1967 GMC truck that she won in a contest with Rock 106. Sponsors of the contest put in about $80,000 for updates and I was thrilled that she allowed us to take it out for a spin.


Once again we dropped into the Crossings Branch Tim Hortons. Here now is Cool Cars, Interesting People with Cal Toth.

That Time In The 70s When I Saw The Bee Gees

As I watched the tribute to the Bee Gees on TV last night I thought back to the time they came to the Sportsplex (as it was called back then.) It was either 1975 or 1976. Opening act was an up and coming band called Heart. As a new DJ on 1090 Chec I had played many of their “old” hits like Run To Me, I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You and Lonely Days. Music critics were calling their new album Main Course a big comeback for them and their single Jive Talking was a big hit. Soon to come was their monster Saturday Night Fever masterpiece. (Some disco haters will call it something else.)

Because I was on radio and we were promoting the hell out of the concert, I got free tickets to the show. (Thanks Ron Sakamoto.) I liked Bee Gee music but I couldn’t say that I was an ardent fan. I was happy to be at the show and I was looking forward to hearing them.

Heart came out first and we had just started playing Magic Man on the air. I remember thinking they were a good band and I enjoyed their extended version of the song. But I was mostly interested in seeing the Bee Gees.

I wasn’t expecting my reaction when they hit the stage. The lights came up, the music to I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You started and when Robin Gibb sang the opening line, “The preacher talked to me and he smiled…” I don’t know why, but for one of about 3 times in my concert-going life chills literally went up my spine. His voice just captured me and as the three of them launched into their signature harmonies I was just blown away. They performed hit after hit throughout the night. I had forgotten how many songs they had in their repertoire. Equally as impressive was their new material as they introduced the Lethbridge audience to Nights On Broadway and Jive Talkin.

Barry Gibb maintained a rapport with the crowd that just made you like him even more. He had that rock star presence not unlike the “it” factor that people like Elvis and Mick Jagger exuded.

If I was a Bee Gee fan before the concert I probably turned into geek status as I bought all of their subsequent albums and loved them all.

I was saddened for the family when younger brother and hit-maker Andy died and I was devastated when both Maurice and Robin passed away.

Barry is one of those guys I would just love to have a beer with to hear the many stories I’m sure he has.

Obviously I’ll never get to see the Bee Gees again unless someone figures out some kind of Lazarus comeback (too soon?) but at least I can say for one magical night in the mid-70s I got to see three brothers who were indeed masters of their craft.

Today’s Funny 5

Time for a couple of giggles to go along with your dark roasted coffee.

  1. Three coaches with strong ties to Lethbridge lost their jobs in the NHL on Monday-Lindy Ruff, Darryl Sutter and Willie Dejardins. “Er, um, no, I didn’t spend any time in Lethbridge” said Bill Peters.
  2. United Airlines forcibly removed a passenger when he refused to give up his seat when the flight was overbooked. He gave them a lot of resistance because he had just opened up his peanuts.
  3. The Internet went crazy when a picture showing Justin Trudeau, Prince Harry and Prince William together was posted. If the whole politics and monarchy thing doesn’t work out, they should start a boy band. No one will care if they can’t sing.
  4. The Oilers, Flames and Leafs are in the post season. Cloud 9 is currently overcrowded and has just upped its beer prices.
  5. How you know your career is in trouble if you’re a famous person: You lose important sponsorship, you get hate mail and Alec Baldwin portrays you on SNL.
  6. This is a bonus gag. It’s stolen from Rick Wakeman of Yes during his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction speech when he talked about getting a prostate exam: “The doctor said to me, he said, ‘Mr. Wakeman, there’s no need to be embarrassed. It’s not unusual to get an erection with this kind of procedure.’ I said, ‘I haven’t got an erection.’ He said, ‘I know, but I have.”

Supporting Local Nurses

Shannon Spenceley-3

Shannon Spenceley is once again spearheading the Lethbridge Nursing Gala which takes place Friday May 12 at the Coast Hotel which supports Lethbridge Registered Nurses and local nursing research. It’s a great night out for a wonderful cause and Shannon gets us up to speed on the who, what, where and why of the gala.

Remind everyone why you found the need to come up with a gala fundraising event.

As registered nurses who are passionate about our profession, this was a good fit for us—raising money to support registered nurses who are taking the leap into advanced education at the Master’s level, in any faculty, right here in our own University of Lethbridge. One of the criteria for the scholarship is that the student’s master’s work (research study, or a project) has to be carried out right here in Southern Alberta. We believe that nurses are the heart of the health care system, and that an investment in nursing knowledge is a positive way to contribute to the health of Southern Alberta!

How successful was it last year?

Thanks to the support of AMAZING sponsors like the law firm McLaughlin-McNab-Hembroff and Foster’s Jewelery, we are able to take all the proceeds from the event last year and put it towards the Lethbridge Legacy Nursing Scholarship Fund (within the Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust). As a result, we raised over 30,000 for the fund! Amazing right?? This year we’d like to top that, and we sure hope the community will help us get there!

What’s new for this year?

I think the biggest thing that’s new this year is that we will be honouring the very first scholarship recipient! Miss Reema Khullar will receive the $5,000 scholarship for her work on post-operative recovery protocols. She is a very deserving scholar, and I look forward to hearing her address the crowd about her work! Also this year, Global TV is taking a big role, and hosting a “Facebook Live” event at the gala…there will be a ‘red carpet’, TV coverage, the works!

How do you determine who gets the scholarships?

RNs studying at the University of Lethbridge towards a master’s degree apply through a process managed by the registered charity, the Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust. There is an Allocation Committee of ARNET that reviews all applications (it’s a blinded process), and selects the scholarship winner on a combination of grades, letters of support, and a summary of their master’s work. It is a rigorous selection process for selecting the winner of this prestigious scholarship!

How would you describe the status of the nursing profession in Alberta?

The profession of registered nursing is vibrant in Alberta, with over 36,000 RNs actively practicing in the province. Consistently, RNs are rated as the most trusted profession in Canada; being an RN is challenging, exciting, demanding and provides an amazing variety of opportunities in terms of career path.

Is it any different than the rest of Canada?

Certainly there are provinces that are seeing an out-migration of RNs—Alberta isn’t one of them. We are consistently a ‘destination province’ for RNs.

What kind of opportunities are there for people who want to practice nursing internationally?

Great question! Canadian nurses are highly sought after around the world, because of the high quality of our education. If travel is on your career plan, being an RN is definitely a good move—there are shortages worldwide. Hey Mark, it’s not too late…!

(Um…thanks for the vote of confidence Shannon but, I think it is too late for me….Mark)

What’s the best part of the night?

THAT’s a tough one! It is a high-value evening, from start to finish. You get a lot for your 100$ (and remember half of that is a tax receipt!)

The evening begins with a champagne reception, and an opportunity to win a beautiful strand of pearls from Foster’s Jewelry—elegant, with a 24k clasp—think Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

This is followed by an amazing gourmet meal provided by LA Chefs (it’s their highest-end dinner: salmon AND beef tenderloin), accompanied by a first-rate choice of wines at your table…trust me, these are NICE wines (and served at no cost to you!)

Through the evening you can get a professional photograph taken by Mr. Chris Yauck, who is providing these beautiful portraits to you, that same evening, AT NO COST TO YOU! Come on, how often do you get all dressed up? It’s a perfect evening to get that portrait taken!

And once again, we will be offering the best silent auction items you have ever seen at a fundraiser—seriously!

Finally, the music of the Lethbridge Big Band is SO wonderful—we are lucky to have such a talented orchestra here in our city—dancing is definitely on the agenda!

Where can we get tickets?

2017 Lethbridge Nursing Gala

CanadaHelps is a registered charity | BN 896568417RR0001.


Your final words to the people of southern Alberta…..

Your life has been, or will be touched one day by the knowledge of a registered nurse. Please invest in that knowledge, and in putting that knowledge to work right here in our own community! Please come to this community-inspired event—and bring a friend. I guarantee you will have a great time!

Crooner Michael Vanhevel-What A Voice

What a show you’re going to see Saturday night at 7pm at Southminster United Church. The Lethbridge Community Band is thrilled to be holding their 30th Anniversary Celebration concert with special guest Michael Vanhevel from Toronto. Michael is a modern crooner who has performed with several symphony orchestras across Canada. His career took a great leap forward when he was introduced to the late, great Canadian big band legend and wonderful friend of the Community Band Howard Cable in 2012. I had a chance to ask Michael a few questions about his career and what we can expect Saturday night.

First off, tell us a little about who you are, where you’re from and how you got into this style of music.

I was born and raised in a small beach town called Grand Bend in southwestern Ontario. There’s a pretty widespread music scene there in the summers, so I got my start performing in local bars on my time home from college. I suppose it was my folks who first sparked my interest in music, they would listen to a lot of songs from the 50’s and 60’s around the house, so I got a taste for an older style of music. From there I took it upon myself to start exploring the different era’s and found a love for the swing and swagger of the Rat Pack and the great crooners and decided to pursue that with my own voice.

Tell us about your relationship with Howard Cable.

Howard was a great friend and mentor to me. We met shortly after I got my first live professional theatre gig with a Drayton Entertainment show that he did the arrangements for. The show was called Big Band Legends. He loved my sound and passion, and I loved his spirit and wisdom, so we became fast friends. Howard and his companion Lori Rossi approached me in the midst of that contract with the idea of a symphony show dedicated to the great coroners, which Howard wanted me to headline, so I obviously jumped at the opportunity. We travelled around Canada with the show, and in that precious time I learned so much from Howard. It was really heartbreaking to lose him, but I know he’d be happy to see me still out and performing the show we built together.

What can you tell us about what you’ve heard about the reputation of the Lethbridge Gold Band?

Howard spoke very fondly of the Lethbridge Gold Band, and to me, from someone as highly particular as Howard was, that is high praise. I’m extremely excited to be here.

Who would win in a cage match between Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin?

I hate to say it because they’re both amazing, but Frank Sinatra would demolish. First and foremost, with Bobby’s weak heart, he’d be out of breath in the first 10 seconds. Frank was also notorious for his willingness to go to fists at the drop of a hat, and did on occasion, Bobby Darin may have had a temper, but it was nowhere near as volatile as Frank’s. Lastly, in the end, Frank had some friends in Chicago who you didn’t want to be on the wrong side of…that’s all I’m saying. All that aside, Dean Martin would K.O them both, lot of folks don’t know it, but Dino was actually was a pretty solid boxer.

If you could go back in time and talk to one of the classic crooners of all time who would it be and what would you ask him?

Ooh, good question.

I’d probably talk to Sinatra, he is the Chairman after all. I’d ask him how he carved out a song the way he did. Nobody ever told a story like Frank. Then I’d probably ask him if he could get me a show in Vegas.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career was probably stepping out on stage in Halifax debuting “Best of the Crooners” those few years ago. I’ll never be able to describe the feeling of singing those songs for those 1000 or so people that first time. Magic.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?

Truth be told, all I ever want is to be doing what I love and be able to keep food on the table. I’ve got a lot of different aspirations in this business, but in 10 years if I can still be doing this, and making a living, I’ll be ecstatic. Its a joy.

Talk about the show people will see when you’re in town.

Best of the Crooners is just that, it’s a salute to those folks that did it first, and did it well back in the 40s, 50s and 60s. All of those favourite songs from Sinatra, Martin, Darin, Williams, Anka and more. Not to sound cliche, but it’s just a terrific trip down memory lane.

What is your most favorite song you’ve just always got to perform?

Ooh another tough one,

Either Mack the Knife, or My Way. Both are wildly different, but a blast to perform.

Do you notice that the younger generation is embracing this style of music?

I do notice that. Entertainers like Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, Diana Krall and Matt Dusk have really kept the standards alive, and I think young people, myself included are incredibly fortunate in that regard.

What would you like to say to the people of Lethbridge?

Have fun at the show, and I’ll see you at the bar after! 🙂