Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"We'll put it on for ya!"

So I was looking for a last name for a new character I just created in my novel. I had her originally coming from Maine because I figured if there was a part of the United States where the people might actually know the location of Newfoundland, it would likely be Maine. I had the first name (she just seems like a Janice), but I couldn’t think of what her last name would be.

I only have one tentative memory of Maine and that was when I first got cable television in the early 80s it came from there. For some reason, all the American channels (the whopping four of them at the time – ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS) came from there. I imagine the content of the stations would have been viewed as odd by most people, but of course in Newfoundland we had NTV. We just assumed at that time that everyone had a station run by mad people.

The shows I recall the most were All-Hit Videos (because this was the early 80s, before Much Music was available and the only reliable way to see the latest music videos was to stay up late on Saturdays and watch the show, which always ended with Herbie Handcock’s “Rock It.”) and “The Great Money Movie”, which was sometimes a movie, and sometimes old TV shows edited together in such a way that they killed two hours. And they always had theme weeks and, as the title says, they gave away money every day.

So I figured I would name my character after the guy who hosted the Great Money Movie. I just couldn’t recall his name. One quick Google search later and voila – Eddie Driscoll. It had been more than 20 years since I’d seen the show, so I wasn’t certain if he was still alive. Turns out he died in September. This is the obit that ran on CBC. As you can tell, he had quite the influence on people both in Maine and Atlantic Canada. He had been suffer from Alzheimer’s for the better part of the last 20 years, which is tragic.

Anyway, I now have Janice Driscoll which works as a name and as a small tribute to a man that brought me some small amusement while watching his bizarre movie choices and eating supper.


colette said...

Next time you're stuck then I suggest "Don Messer". Stacy's Midnight Country Jamboree! Another fine product brought (back to) Newfoundlanders by virtue of cable television. My father's joy knew no bounds when he realized that show was still on the air.

Michael P said...

Weird...I rarely read your blog (sorry) and I was talking about the "put it on for ya" guy just yesterday, and we were trying to remember his name. That the day I read your blog is the day you have posted about buddy after me having a long conversation about him is bizarre. Hope this lifts your spirits (or certainly your stats).

Paul Pickering said...

Talking with my Haligonian colleague this morning about Eddie Driscoll, and remembered the quote, and googled it. I grew up near Bangor, and find EVERYONE in NS watched the same programs.....thanks for the reference to Eddie. Very sorry to hear about his Alzheimers battle. I 've been across the pond and beyond for a long time, so hadn't heard.