In 1964, a huge slice of my childhood ended when Michele Finney left the CBC kid’s program Razzle Dazzle. I had been a fan of hers from her earliest days there (1960-61). In fact, we used to correspond regularly.
While still living in Windermere in 1962, I got hold of a Toronto phone directory and using a little bit of logic, worked out which Finney listing was under her father’s name. (For those interested, I deduced that the listing in the same WAlnut 7 area as the CBC studios would be it.) One Saturday, I rang the number: a woman answered; I asked to speak to Michele; she said, “Just a minute,” and went and got her! We had a short chat. She claimed to know who I was from our correspondence (I’ll bet she says that to all the boys). Thereafter, I called her about once a month for the next year.
One of my greatest treasures was a photograph of her interviewing the Beatles at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. She’d addressed it to me and signed it on the back. I no longer have any idea of the whereabouts of that photo, but I found a copy on the internet recently.
I believe it was in 1965 that Michele returned to Razzle Dazzle for a guest appearance. I had been visiting a school friend (in Barrie) after classes and happened to see the program. As the shows were performed live in those days, I immediately rang the CBC studios in Toronto at the end, and asked to speak to Michele Finney. I was immediately put through to her and we had another of our little chats. That was the last time we spoke on the telephone.
For the next few years, we continued to keep in contact, even after I moved to Vancouver and she was in Canada, after moving back from California to Toronto. But as with all relationships, time passed and connections get lost.
Years ago, I read a magazine article in Macleans in which Michele was interviewed, and she commented on the fact that she had had correspondence with some fans over the years. I like to think that one of those fans she was referring to was me. If you happen to read this Michele, Chris says “Hi.”
Dec 2016: Michele and I have reconnected on Facebook.