“‘Dear Stuart’, Writes Beth.”

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My last #ThrowbackThursday post was about a letter my husband and I received from a stranger years ago, observing how much we were in love and thanking us for reminding her of what that’s like.

It’s a story that is incredibly close to our hearts, and for a long time I didn’t want to share it with anyone, let alone everyone who would stumble across it in Blogland.  We told family and close friends, but really wanted to keep it just for us.

I’d been thinking about that letter a lot over the last few months, about how every time I pull it out of the box and read it, I’m overwhelmed with, as the writer says, “such depth of emotion”, that I finally decided it was time to tell it to the world so others could find the magic in it, too.

But before I posted it those few weeks back, before I threw open the floodgates of that memory and hit “Publish”, I told one other person outside of our circle.  One other person, who I thought would appreciate it as much as we did.

That person was Stuart McLean.


I’ve been listening to his CBC program, The Vinyl Cafe, on-and-off for years.  I remember listening to it on the floor of my parent’s living room, lying next to the speakers and laughing along to the Dave and Morley stories with my father.  The two of us even went to his Christmas Concert one year and got to hear Stuart, live and in person, tell the famous “Dave & The Turkey” tale.

I didn’t listen much during my vagabond years, if at all… but then again I didn’t have time for much, other than travelling and eating and drinking my way around the globe.  Radio and television weren’t a necessity, so they fell to the side.

When I settled back in Toronto though, and especially after having Bee, I began to tune in religiously again.  I’d spend lazy afternoons cooking, wearing Bee in the Ergo and listening to Stuart on the radio.  It quickly became my favourite routine, and I still find time to enjoy the tradition at least one evening a week.

Stuart writes how I want to write.  And he tells stories the way I hope to tell stories one day.  His voice is calming and engaging, always sounding like an old friend.  In fact, that’s just how I think of him, as a friend.

One afternoon in January, I sent the email in as a submission for the Story Exchange  – a segment on the program where listeners write in with their stories –  thinking it was a long shot it would get read at all, let alone on the radio.  But something compelled me to send it anyway – maybe putting it out in the universe would give me the courage to finally post it on the blog, which I eventually did.

So imagine my surprise when in late-January, I received this email from Louise Curtis, producer of the Vinyl Cafe:

Dear Beth,

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story with us.  We all loved it! 

We will certainly do our best to find a spot for it on the show and we will let you know in advance if it will be heard on air.  

Louise Curtis
Story Exchange Producer
The Vinyl Cafe


And then imagine my even BIGGER surprise, when I received the following email just last week:


Hi Beth,


I am delighted to be able to let you know that Stuart McLean read your story on the Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange.


That show will air the weekend of April 26th.   I hope you are able to tune in at one of the following times:


  • Saturdays at 9:05 AM across Canada (Radio Two)
  • Sundays at 12:05 PM across Canada (Radio One)
  • Tuesdays at 11:05 PM across Canada (Radio One)

It’s such a great story.  I hope you enjoy hearing it on national radio!



This is one of the greatest achievements of my life, hands down.  After decades of listening to Stuart tell everyone else’s stories, he is now going to tell mine.

I’m going to hear him bring the story to life with his voice – the way I imagined him reading it when I wrote it.

Stuart McLean is going to read our story, about the woman with the perfect silver hair and the letter she wrote us, on the radio.

And I wanted to share the news with all of you, so you can hear him read it, too.

HERE is the link to the Vinyl Cafe podcasts, and as Louise wrote in the email above, the times this weekend are:

  • Saturday, April 26 at 9:05 AM across Canada (Radio Two)
  • Sunday, April 27 at 12:05 PM across Canada (Radio One)
  • Tuesday, April 29 at 11:05 PM across Canada (Radio One)

I hope you can tune in.  I certainly will.

3 thoughts on ““‘Dear Stuart’, Writes Beth.”

    feedmedearly said:
    April 22, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Wow, that’s so fantastic, congratulations!! A big achievement 🙂

    Anneliese said:
    April 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    So cool!

    […] was technically taken on the 26th, but since it was from the morning my story aired on the Vinyl Cafe, I figured it was worth sneaking in!  We were lucky Bee went down for a […]

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