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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The ultimate meaning of life is to embrace that which compels you to act in spite of fear.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Remembering Urban Carmichael

This past weekend I listened to a performance by Urban Carmichael on CBC Radio. Wow. I've heard him a few times now and he never ceases to amaze and entertain me. The legendary storyteller and comedian passed away in February at the age of 54. When I heard the news last month, I quietly acknowledged it with a few people, though I didn't blog about it at that time. Instead, I remembered my brief contact with this talented, brilliant man.

I had the great pleasure of speaking to Urban on the phone a few times this past summer while working as a researcher and writer for the TV documentary series Unexplained Canada, which just finished running on Space: The Imagination Station. I discovered Urban while looking for a storyteller from PEI. And he graciously agreed to participate in one our episodes.

The moment I heard his voice on the phone, I knew he was an exceptional person. I have spoken with or interviewed a number of people, many of them over the phone. None has engaged me quite like he did. The man breathed stories. I was laughing one or two sentences into our conversation! What a delight. What an inspiration.

Urban's positive energy put me at ease, and reminded me to relax and accept my membership in the human race, with all its foibles.

What a pleasure it was to have been part of the same production. I only wish I had met him earlier.


Anonymous Julie Carmichael Jackson said...

Thank you so much for the lovely words on my brother, Urban Carmichael. He was very excited about being on your show. It made him so happy to know he was appreciated. It was yet another story he got to put his own unique touch to. Urban was happy to tell the stories and weave them in a special way that you found yourself living right in the stories he would tell. His absence has made a huge crater hole in our hearts, but the nine of us left have been so blessed to have him in our lives, and he will live forever in our hearts. God bless you and yours. Julie Carmichael Jackson

1:47 PM  
Blogger oakwriter said...

You're most welcome Julie. And my sympathies to you and your family. These words about Urban came quite easily: he was a lovely person and a brilliant storyteller.

We were so fortunate to have him aboard. I'm glad he enjoyed the experience. You're right -- he certainly did put his unique touch on the project.

Take care,


2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urban Carmicheal was my great uncle when i was younger when he had shows at Orwell conner in the summer he would alays pick on me and he was always know around th Island or when people came from away they would know him for sure.

Sincerly:Anthony Jackson

5:40 PM  
Blogger oakwriter said...

Hello, Anthony.

Thanks for dropping by with some memories. It must have been quite something to have had Urban as part of your family.

I was happy just to have spoken with him.


5:42 PM  

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