Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
By MICHAEL WALSH
It was, as Mr. Rogers would say, “a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.” Friday, October 15, 1976 was a perfect fall day in Vancouver. Late in the morning, Sue and I bicycled the 17 tree-shaded blocks to The Comicshop. The Kitsilano storefront had become a gathering spot for local graphic artists and comic art fans, and we often dropped by.
Late that same afternoon, we drove the 37-plus blocks (a route that included the Burrard Street Bridge) to downtown’s St. Paul’s Hospital. There, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Sue gave birth to our daughter, Pauline Michelle. In all, it was a day that we’ll never forget.
A week ago Saturday, we donated those vintage two-wheelers to Ride On, a local bike shop, where they will be refurbished, recycled and sold to new owners to enjoy in our increasingly bike-friendly city. Before parting with them, though, we all got together for the above photo. Pauline, who commutes on her own bicycle now, is wearing a T-shirt with Reeling Back’s alternative motto: Books — Read the movie.
In case you were wondering, the tie that I’m wearing was a gift from our daughter. It features the maple leaves of autumn, an appropriate design as we all prepare to vote in Canada’s 2019 federal election.
After a summer full of unforeseen challenges, getting back on the bicycle that is Reeling Back has been a bit slow. So far in October the postings have included:
RUNNING BRAVE — In 1983, director Don Shebib brought together an impressive cast of Canadian First Nations performers to tell the true story of sports hero Billy Mills, a Native American who won a gold medal at the 1964 summer Olympics. (October 14)
THE CRUSADE THAT CLEANED-UP COMICS — Posted to mark the sixth anniversary of Reeling Back, this feature was first published in 1967. With just a touch of attitude — the author was 22 at the time — it describes the state of the comic book 13 years after the creation of the Comics Code Authority. (October 11)
COMMON THREADS: STORIES FROM THE QUILT — Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman made a major contribution to the public conversation around HIV/AIDS with this 1989 documentary, a film inspired by the creation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. (October 11)
MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN — Sold as an adventure fantasy, director John Carpenter’s 1992 political comedy stars Chevy Chase as a stock market analyst who is involved in an industrial accident that prompts the unwanted attention of the C.I.A. (October 8)