Stuart McLean is and will always be a Canadian treasure. Just like the used record store that Dave ran, Stuart McLean never allowed himself to get too big to be small. Every show opened with the smallest of observations illuminating some of the most important characteristics of everyday life. The things that made us Canadian. The trials and failures and ultimate soul-searching realisations of what is important in life – what is at the root of our humanity.
I remember walking along the main street in Picton, Ontario in Prince Edward County. There in the window of the local newspaper were a half-dozen or so pairs of eye glasses. I turned to my wife and exclaimed that this is where everyone brings glasses that are left behind in restaurants and stores around town. You know if you lose your glasses you just go to the newspaper and they’ll be turned in. I heard about it on the Vinyl Café.
With that observation, I felt like Stuart had allowed me into his world – I was invited into the smallest record store in the world. And what a delightful place to be. This was the quality of Stuart McLean. The ability to welcome everyone into Dave and Morley’s world without it ever feeling too crowded. He made every town and village that he visited feel big and important, because to him, they were.
Dave’s record store had a sign “We may not be big, but we’re small.”
Stuart celebrated who we are – not what others believed we should be.
Thank You Stuart McLean.
There is a lovely tribute to Stuart on the Vinyl Café site.
You can enjoy the Vinyl Café through CBC podcasts – if you haven’t already, do it now.