Dear Bob Chelmick,
I was listening to your programme, The Road Home, this morning on the internet. As it was coming up to the hour, the show’s theme came on and I suddenly found myself getting all warm and fuzzy … and thinking back to another time in my life when a theme song had this very same effect on me. A time very, very early in my life when my mother turned on the TV to CBC for my younger sister and me so we could watch The Friendly Giant!
Trust me!! I mean this in a complimentary way when I say I then began considering how many ways you and your The Road Home are as similar to, in this my later adulthood, as The Friendly Giant was for me in my youth:
– you both have a theme song that instantly makes me feel calm, relaxed and peaceful
– you both read poetry/stories and talk about reading
– you both play music (and I’ve caught myself more than once singing along …)
– you both have wonderful and calming voices that I could listen to all day long!
– you both have animal sidekicks (you with your dogs, horses and birds, and Friendly with Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe – okay, so they were actually puppets, but at that age I thought they were real animals!!)
– and, last but not least, you’re both named BOB!
Although, Friendly lives in a castle, whereas you live in a cabin in the woods. And Friendly always offered us chairs to curl up in at the beginning of each show, too, come to think of it …
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, Bob Chelmick, for becoming The Friendly Giant of my old(er) age. For continuing to bring good poetry and the written word, as well as beautiful music and interesting stories, into my life. And with the vast improvement in technology since those days in 1958 when the CBC was one of only three Canadian TV stations available to us in Toronto, where I watched The Friendly Giant in our family living room with two cats and my sister, now I can listen to The Road Home anywhere in the world! At the moment, I happen to be sitting on the verandah of my house on the island of Bequia in the Caribbean, listening to the internet broadcast of previous “January” shows, surrounded by three sleeping cats.
And thanks too, Bob, for all you do to promote writing, writers, and their books! I love that I can hear poetry written by friends like Robert Kroetsch, Rosemary Griebel, Robert Hilles and so many other authors I’ve met over the years I lived and worked in Alberta. For me, in many ways, your show really is THE ROAD BACK HOME!
All the best to you, Bob! Thanks for all you do and for now making me realize my life has come full circle!
For those reading this blog post who may not be familiar with The Friendly Giant, it was a long-running children’s TV programme (1958-1985) produced by the CBC and starring Bob Homme and puppeteer Rod Coneybeare. Here’s a video of the opening and closing of one of the shows … “Look waaayyyy up!”
And I’ve just discovered that The Friendly Giant has a Facebook page!!
Bob Chelmick’s programme, The Road Home, can be heard online, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Just click on this link.
Here’s a terrific video from Bob’s website that will give you a better idea of who he is and where he broadcasts from … in that little cabin in the woods close to a lake called Nakamun.