Kay Tremblay (Aunt Eliza), Marilyn Lightstone , Mag Ruffman
and Frances Bey (Cousin Winifred)
Michael Mahonen 1997 Gemini's
Mickey again at the 1997 ceremonies.
Road to Avonlea- Gemini Awards
Best Dramatic Series
Best Actor in a Continuing Dramatic Role
Best Actress in a Continuing Dramatic Role
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Mag Ruffman was nominated for Best Supporting Actress , for her portrayal of Olivia King Dale, in Happy Christmas, Miss King., but unfortunately , did not win. Mag was a presenter at the Industry Gala Gemini Awards, which was televised. Jackie Burroughs was also nominated for a Gemini Award, but did not win ... this time!
Mariel and I both got to meet and talk with
Mag Ruffman and Jackie Burroughs before the ceremony, and they were
both delightful! (I have been asked by a number of people about our
trip. an account of the trip is below :-D)
I purposely didn't write when I came back, hoping I'd forget some of the details... so that I wouldn't bore everyone to death. I have forgotten a little ( for your sakes, I hope I have) but here goes.
The Saga of Kitty and Mariel, two ladies and their adventures across the Canadian border, eh?
Friday was the day of departure, and for a change, I was ready early. My friend, Susan, who is constantly picking up or dropping off her three children at airports ,offered to drive me to Manchester Airport. Checked in my bag and we waited for Mari and waited and waited! Finally at 5:55, I was told to go to the gate ( but I didn't want to...) The plane was to leave at 6:20 for NY. Susan, said, if Mari arrived after the plane left, she'd put her on the next one. Ya... then we would play "catch up" until we got to the hotel. No... I wasn't getting on the plane. We would both take the next one.
Five past 6, the announcement came over the PA system... Mari had arrived... where was I? The desk clerk called over the PA system for her to come to the gate. Then I saw her dad, Jay, running down the hall towards me. "She's putting her bag through the machine... where's her ticket?" Next Mari came running down the hall with Susan close behind. The ticket was stamped, Mari showed her proof of citizenship, someone grabbed her bag... in a moments we were on the plane, in the air and eating pretzels!
New York, LaGuardia Airport and on to Canada!!!
At the car rental, in Toronto, the clerk asked why we were visiting. Mari was happy to tell her about the Gemini's. Then told her I had a story coming out in the Avonlea Tradition Chronicle, and I was going to meet my editor, Alexandra Heilbron. The woman surprised me by saying it was one of her favorite magazines, and said she would look forward to seeing my story.
The hotel was lovely, but they didn't have a room for us... they'd
given it away when we didn't arrive at 6 o'clock. What? We didn't leave
New Hampshire until 6:20... how could we be there at 6? It was almost midnight,
but the clerk found us a lovely room ( I was tired, at that point ,any
room would be lovely!). Serena, Mariel's friend, had
left us a welcoming message, and said she'd see us in the morning.
Saturday morning in Toronto... it was a little windy, but the sun
was shinning; we'd had a good night sleep and Serena had arrived
to show us around. We walked the streets of Toronto for the next two days
, and it was great. Saturday we did a good deal of window shopping, and
found the Convention Center where the awards were to be held. It was only
a five minute walk from our hotel. Since I get lost easily, this was wonderful
to know. We stopped and took pictures in front of CBC TV, it was closed
or we would have gone in. Later Serena found a small tv
studio that was open and we went in and were shown around. On to a radio station, and we chatted with the DJ while the music was playing.
I spotted ( how could I miss it!) a huge tower on the horizon... it seemed to be every where we went. It was the CN Tower ( tallest structure in the world???). Serena suggested we might like to "go up" the tower. Sure, why not? In the elevator, I found out why not! It is HIGH! My tummy was down on street level, the rest of my flying through the air ( or so it seemed). The view was spectacular! Lake Ontario was so big, and calm looking. Mari and Serena found the glass floor and stood on it and took pictures ( Not I... I stayed on floors that looked like floors. Solid and non-see through). The girls went up into the pod on the next level. I stayed where I was and had a cup of tea.
The waitress smiled, when I, looking down at Lake Ontario, commented that the airport looked small. "Oh, look at the tiny planes". She smiled. "Oh, are those tiny things on the road... buses?" She smiled. "...the planes, buses and airport aren't small, are they? Are we up that HIGH???" She smiled. Ooh, and Mari and Serena had gone up even higher!
Lunch was at Planet Hollywood ( which was at the base of the CN Tower),
it was good to be back down to my tummy; and we had lunch and it
was good. On our way back to the hotel, we found the Hockey Hall of Fame,
since we had to get ready for the dinner, we only stopped for a minute. There was a bronze work of art outside... a group of hockey players... the girls climbed up on the fence and "snuggled" with the bronze men... while I took pictures! Then back to the hotel, to shower and change.
Mari wore a long, sleeveless lavender gown, with long black gloves,
black shoes, and a gold necklace Jim had sent from Arabia... her hair up
in a "do" . I put on a black top and skirt, and we were ready to go. The
convention center was bursting with people all " dressed to the nines".
Diamonds, gowns with high priced labels and men in tuxedos .
Excitement was in the air. Within five minutes, of our arriving in the reception room,( and it was dark in there). I spotted Jackie Burroughs.
She was talking to several people, when they left, I put out my hand
,introduced myself, and we started chatting. She was so sweet, friendly
...and tiny! At one point, I mentioned that she" must be tired of
hearing how wonderful" she was. She replied, "No, I don't hear it that
often". We chatted for a moment or two more, then other people
wanted to talk to her. We went out into the hall, there was a man standing right next to me talking to some one with his back to me. I looked at this man several times, wondering if I should say anything. He smiled and tapped me on the shoulder. So, I asked, "Are you Donnelly Rhodes? From the tv show "Danger Bay?" He laughed, said he was, and we talked for a minute. He was a presenter that evening. I should mention, that I did introduce Mari to him and Jackie Burroughs. At this point we went out into the hall and I sat down, to get at my tickets. I'd just found what I was looking for when Mari, said... "There she goes... there's Mag Ruffman..."
We wound our way through the crowd, and I stood face to face with
Mag. She is s little shorter than I am.... and people, she is BEAUTIFUL!
Again, I shook hands and introduced myself and Mariel. People seemed so
surprised that we came all the way from New Hampshire for the ceremony.
We chatted about her new show ( Men on Women), and she introduced her handsome
husband, Daniel. He seemed surprised, when I told him I'd recognized
him from his picture on the Chronicle. She was just as sweet, and bubbly as she was when she played Olivia. When she had to leave, not thinking, I said "Oh, if you see Alexandra, could you tell her I'm looking for her?"
Mari looked at me in shock, and asked "Do you know what you just did?". Then it dawned on me what she meant. I had just sent a tv star on an errand! Oh, no, I did... but it was just like "talking to a friend", so I said it.
A few minutes later, Alexandra found us. "Oh, Mag came and told me you were here". When I tried to apologize, she smiled and said that Mag thought nothing of it, it was fine with her. Canadians are certainly very nice people! Alexandra took us into the hall where the ceremony was to take place and introduced us to Mickie and Buddy, from Mississippi. We were all sitting in the same row... so we chatted until the show started. They had arrived earlier that we did and had to talk to a few people we only got to "see". Mari recognized Steve Smith who played " Red Green" and his nephew... and I was surprised at how many Canadian actors/actresses that I did recognize. Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves), Gordon Pinsent (Adeline's father on RTA), Jayne Eastwood ( Mrs. Hammond in Anne 1) Maury Chaykin , Ian Tracey ( These two had been in Michael's Conspiracy of Silence) and Suzette Couture who had written a number of RTA episodes and written MM's movie script "Conspiracy of Silence". I had met Mag and Jackie so I was happy.
After the ceremony, I stopped in the hall for a moment and Mari found our table in the dinning room. When I got there she was all excited. Mag Ruffman was at the next table; recognized Mari and had come over and talked to her for a minute! Alexandra joined us at the table, Mickie and Buddy were there as well. The dinner was wonderful, the desert was sin-ful. We all sat and talked ( yes, I showed Alexandra my stash of pictures I always carry, of my two children. Mama Kitty is proud of her kittens). After dinner, there was dancing... and Mari wanted to dance. So I suggested that she go over to the dance floor ; there were a group of "kids" dancing, she should join them. One of the boys asked her to dance, he "thought that she was an American actress". She explained who she was and stayed to dance for a while.
Alexandra spotted Bob Collins, who played Diana Barry's and Sara Stanley's father; and suggested we go over to meet him. He was very nice, and so tall! He seamed surprised when I mentioned that there were people in the US who were devoted Anne and RTA fans, and was pleased that we recognized him ( It was pretty dark in the dinning room...). Alexandra took some pictures
It was close to midnight, when we decided to leave. Mari and I left, by way of the dance floor. The "kids" she had danced with wished her a happy trip home, and hoped that they would see her next year. She was so excited ,"she had danced with tv stars". Back at the hotel, we talked about the evening, looked at the program... it was awhile before either of us could sleep.
Sunday afternoon, we had a little time left to wander around Toronto. We had lunch at the Pickle Barrel, did a little souvenir shopping and found the "Walk of Fame". It is still small, having only been started a few years earlier; but we found Anne Murray and Celine Dion's plaques and took pictures.
It was getting late, we hugged Serena "goodbye", promised to come
back next year and went back to the hotel for the car. We were almost to
the car rental, when we missed our exit. It was 3 o'clock... and our plane
left at 4 .We drove around in circles, finally found our exit and returned
the car. They drove us to the airport; we checked in our bags, did customs,
and waited for the plane. My daughter, Kate was to meet us at La
Guardia... because we had a one hour lay over... or so we thought! Delay,
our Toronto to NY plane was delayed 40 minutes! Oh, no! We got to LaGuardia
and it was busy, a truck pulled the plane into it's berth (Do planes have
berths or just boats???). As we
walked into the airport, we had only five minutes to catch our NY to NH plane.
Mari and I started running ( I looked for Kate... thank heavens she
knew about the delay, and wasn't there)... we got to the desk and the clerk
was on the phone telling the plane that there were no more passengers,
and they could leave. I'm waving my ticket, and saying "No. no, it's us...
we're here... we were delayed". She had some one grab
Mariel's bag, and out on the runway ( it was a propeller plane), the clerk is pulling our tickets apart and ushering us onto the plane. Ooohhh!. Mari fell asleep and I watched all of the clouds and towns below us. The man next to me mentioned that it had snowed in NH that day... oh, no!
Our families were at the airport to drive us home and the snow was
a dusting, that had already disappeared.
Toronto... aahhh! It was lovely, and yes, Mari and I are saving our pennies for Toronto and the Gemini Awards 2000. Anne 3 is sure to be nominated and there are sure to be people there that we will recognize.
If you're still reading... I hope you were not bored... I know I wasn't....
Kitty...the tired cat, who wants to go North of the border... again!
( cheeky cat grin :-D)