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Laughter and remembering near the farmette


Feeling a bit creaky this morning, due to the gigantic raking session we had yesterday. It was so hot, I had to dive back into my summer clothes bag for some shorts and a tank top. Can't believe it's October! I thought I'd continue from last week's post, about the talent that resides in Grey County. Last night, Rob and I went to an event at the Durham Art Gallery, and the star performer was a local - Patrick McKenna. You know him as nephew Harold Green of the Red Green show, Marty Stephens on Traders, and Dr. Fraser Healy of Hard Rock Medical, among a tonne of other roles. Had no idea he lives just north of Mount Forest.

The evening was filled with laughter and reminiscences as McKenna regaled us with stories of his comedic journey. Steven Morel, our gallery administrator, is friends with McKenna, who he knows from when they both worked at Second City in Toronto back in the day.

Morel 'interviewed' McKenna about everything from where the comedian gets his inspiration to ADHD, with which McKenna was recently diagnosed. Among his many other jobs, he's now helping others (especially kids) recognize and start dealing with the condition.

Speaking about the early days of the Red Green show, McKenna outlined how hard it was for Steve Smith and him to sell it to the networks, and how they had to 'make it' on PBS stations in smaller U.S. towns before the CBC took note and picked it up. Today, he said, it still remains the longest-running TV comedy.

Together, Morel and McKenna even did some improv and involved the audience in bits that sent everyone into paroxysms of guffaws. Somehow farming chickens and ferrets and crossing the two species came out at one point, making a chickfer or ferchick - I can't remember, I was laughing too hard.

To top it all off, we had a long-time local celebrity in the audience! Dinah Christie lives in Holstein - a tiny village just southeast of Durham. Who knew? I didn't, but everyone else seemed to. She's just as gracious and lovely as she was in the 1970s when she was on Party Game - a fast-paced and very entertaining show where teams played charades. She actually commuted from here to Toronto to shoot the series!

I never thought when we moved up here that there would be so much to experience. From the hard but very rewarding work on the farmette acreage to finding out about the many others - including celebrities - who have discovered the great life that can be had on the concession roads and in the towns of our county.


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