Alan skeoch
May 29, 2021

Who could resist purchasing a machine like this?  This will make sense as
you read my email letter, Roy.

Well what a great surprise…You Maxwell…the man

who did a farm report imitating Foster Brooks and no doubt
caught hell for doing so. (Foster Brooks was a comedian who imitated a drunk person….slurred his words)

Roy Maxwell did the farm prices and related information for Ontario farmers. What
is wrong with this picture Roy?  You must know.

Great to hear from you Roy.

YES, I am still writing stories

When Covid 19 first hit Toronto I decided to do 14 stories…one a day…until
the crisis was over.  To entertain those in isolation.  We were assured 14 days of isolation would be enough…remember?
Well now I am writing my 354th  story…one a day…except for two sojourns to hospital with
gall stone attack. They gave me morphine Roy.  What an experience.  

 354 stories.  Back when we did Radio Noon… CBC expected 1 story a week which I enjoyed doing in
that magnificent old Parliament Street studio.  The new CBC building was never
as good…as quaint…as real.

Who was it went out in the back alley for a smoke and talked to another smoker who turned out to be a dead guy ?

Drunks drifted into the old movie theatre and offered their words of advice on occasion.  One particular
inebriated person even joined one of our broadcasts…some charity show.  His comment…loud
and clear went over the air waves.  “If it’s free, it’s for me!” He kept hollering that as our den mother
whose name I have forgotten tried to hustle him away from the microphone.  God, those
programs were fun.

Radio Noon was just great.   My first producer Doug Koupar (sp?) let me
do 3 or 4 broadcasts before calling me into his office.   “Just great, Alan, just great…!!!….What is the next word
when someone says that?   the next word is ‘but’….”But Alan, you must remember the attention span
of the audience is one minute if you are lucky.  Put the big idea out fast, Alan.”

That was great advice.  Cut the crap in other words.  I applied that to teaching as well.
Cut the bull shit…let’s talk about something meaningful.  

So many great memories…I still have the tapes…but never listen to them.

I did the shows on my lunch hour.  Racing from Parkdale Collegiate to Parliament
Street and back was no easy task.  On one of these jaunts a guy jumped on the back
bumper of my  truck.  When I opened my door he wedged himself right on top of me.
“I am going to fucking kill you!” he yelled.  I had to think fast.  I looked at my bare wrist
and told him “No time for that, I am late for class.”   He stepped back and let me go.
I have never had a watch…my wrist was bare.  Those were the days that some very disturbed
people were cut loose from the psychiatric hospital in Mimico.  Sad people.
Why did he want to fucking kill me?  I have no idea.  Maybe he was a CBC listener
and was offended by something I said.  Funny thing, Roy, even now 40 years later
I remember what his running shoes looked like.  He had big feet…shoes were all worn.

The end came suddenly.  “We don’t need you anymore” which I was prepared for by another
CBC journalist who said….”Alan, remember we all have a shelf life.”

So Roy…I am going to send you some stories…just random.   They are found on Alan Skeoch.ca   …something like that.


Life leads us in strange direction Roy.  David Shatsky noticed a hug threshing machine being
hauled up Parliament Street to Riverdale Farm.  “Whose machine?”   Marjorie and I had donated
the thresher.  Had it trucked on a flat bed by Gorden Hume to Riverdale Farm in the heart of Toronto.  David then
asked me to describe the machine to the radio audience.  Sounds boring, Roy, but not so. The
machine is the size of an 18 wheeler and covered in professional folk art…done about 1890…
a snake, an alligator, several lions and lots of garish paint swirls.  On my first CBC broadcast 
I asked David why a snake was painted on that threshing machine.  “Why,David?”He turned the question to me.
“You must know, Alan?” “I have no idea…let’s think about it.”  And we used our imaginations.
I think a lot of radio listeners must have done the same.  Let me ask you Roy.  Why would a professional
sign painter put an alligator on a 19th century farm threshing machine.  There is an answer
but I have forgotten it   Use your imagination.  I love open ended questions that are sincere.
There are so many things in this world that need explaining.   Think of the ex-President of the
United States for instance. “How could he happen?”

Note: Roy, you might wonder why I would give such a great machine to Riverdale farm.
there is an easy answer.  I bought  FOUR of the machines at an auction then wondered
what Marjorie would say when I got home.  “For the museums!” was my answer.

Well Roy, I still collect those old machines and now the movie industry is based in Toronto. They
need those machines often.   Old rusting hulks are great props. All those little threads in life lead somewhere, Roy.
Remember you doing Foster Brooks…made me laugh….and, Roy, some farmers must have laughed
as well.   

alan skeoch
May  2021

On May 29, 2021, at 5:52 PM, Roy Maxwell <rmaxwell20@cogeco.ca> wrote:


I rediscovered you quite by accident (hay tedder story in an Oakville park) and I cannot resist the temptation to say hello.

Radio Noon was a long time ago! I am still in contact with several of the old CBC gang. Sadly, we recently lost my good friend, Glenn Powell (national Agr. News Reporter), but many of the other folks are still here and doing well.

I am so pleased to learn that you have stayed active and been so successful in pursuing your love of history and farming.

Good on you, Alan.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *