Front Porch Al
(CBC Still Photo Collection)
Alan Maitland auditioned for the CBC as a singer in 1947. But he was hired as an announcer, and stayed for 46 years, contributing to programs such as On the Move, Children's Stories, Action Set, Centennial Diary, Matinee
In 1974 he joined As It Happens
as co-host. During that time he became known affectionately as Fireside Al and Front Porch Al, tempting listeners to pull up a chair to the fire or on the porch (depending on the season) and listen. He read stories by a long list of authors, and they were a delight for audiences, whether the story was a humorous or a poignant one. His reading of The Shepherd
, by Frederick Forsythe, has become a Christmas Eve tradition on As It Happens
In this clip, Maitland recounts The Great Election in Missinaba County
, a tale of an election in the imaginary county of Missinaba, in the Dominion of Canada, as viewed by the twinkling eye of Stephen Leacock.Listen to the clip:
Liberal incumbent John Henry Bagshaw finds himself in a battle with Conservative Josh Smith, the proprietor of Smith's Hotel, with independent Edward Drone quietly working away at his own bid. The great day brings victory to one party and its candidate, and the inhabitants of Missinaba and the town of Mariposa are high-spirited in their celebration of the judiciousness of their choice.
Leacock was born in England on Dec. 30, 1869, and came with his parents to Canada when he was six years old. They settled on a farm on the shore of Lake Simcoe.Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
, published in 1912, is the fictional account of Mariposa, located on Lake Wissanotti. He modelled the town on Orillia, where he spent summers as a boy, and it is perhaps his best known work.
Posted on Oct 29, 2011 6:00:00 AM