Some people of note that have dropped in for a visit on the weekends have been Chris Brown and Roger Smith of CTV Toronto News, CBC's Shelagh Rogers, Toronto-based flutist, Jamie Thompson, and Tom Hull. And the very memorable couple where the gentleman proposed to his girlfriend on the stairs of the Museum and she said “YES", which he then announced for all to see in our Museum guest book. Toronto-based flutist, Jamie Thompson, visited the Museum a few years ago, asking if he would be allowed to situate himself in various odd corners of the Museum, including under the waterfall, to play his flute. This was whilst all of our sound effects were playing and visitors were milling. It was truly mesmerizing to hear the haunting sounds of the lonely flute permeating throughout the Museum. Visitors stopped in their tracks to soak in the ambiance whilst trying to discover the origin of the magical sounds. All of Jamie’s recordings are available at his website. This is an amazing travelogue of Jamie's travels and his experiences playing the flute and listening to others make music.
Shelagh Rogers’ first visit to the Museum was extremely memorable for those of us who were there on that particular weekend. I happened to open early that day and there were no other visitors in the building. A very regal looking lady with a warm smile, and soft voice, said that her name was Shelagh Rogers from the CBC, and that James Raffan (Museum Executive Director) had invited her to please visit the Museum whenever she was in town. I explained how she could best see the Museum and let her go through. (no James, I did not charge her).
Another Museum staff member, Carolyn Hyslop, who was at that time heading up our Education Department, saw this person wandering the Museum. She knew it was too early for visitors and phoned me to ask who this lady was. I said that she was a friend of James and that her name was Shelagh Rogers from CBC. Carolyn said, “Do you mean THE Shelagh Rogers?” I replied, “I guess so ... well Carolyn after that was on a whole new planet ... saying “ Oh my SHE’S MY HERO!! I love that woman!” So obviously I had to go upstairs, locate Shelagh, and introduce her to Carolyn - who just happened to be wandering past the Preserving Skills Gallery at just the right moment.
Shelagh was so very gracious, grateful and of course truly impressed with the Museum. She gave each one of us a huge heartfelt hug before she left. Since that visit we are so pleased to say that she became the Museum's Ambassador at Large.
Shelagh, has since spent 2 unforgettable and hilarious evenings as special guest and host to our Beaver Club Gala. She has also spent a very adventurous night sleeping in our Wigwam, complete with a bedtime story from Jen Burnard, one of our most experienced animators from the Museum's Education Department. Shelagh said that she would do it again in a heartbeat (just a kid at heart). When was the last time you spent an overnight in a museum?
Tom Hull is from the U.K. and visited us in 2010. He was working on a book, which he has now finished called “Dust ‘n’ Grit”. This is not yet published, but Tom has assured me that as soon as it is he will let me know. You can check out more about Tom by visiting his website. The following is the email he sent to inform us of the finished product...
Hope this email finds you well. For those who may not recall who I am, I made your portrait during a six week visit to Ontario in November 2010. I would just like to take this opportunity to let you know that I have finally had time to finish the project and it is now live on my website.
What you will see on the website is a slightly edited version of the complete set of 23 portraits. The entire project will be viewable as a book I am still working on, but there were too many images to display in one gallery on my site. The book will have much more scope to expand on the journey and the many wonderful stories I have from making this project.
I look forward to sharing more with you in the future, but for now, another heartfelt thank you to you all for being so accommodating in the production of my largest body of work to date. The following is the page that contained his memories of Peterborough.
Tom Hull’s “DUST ‘N’ GRIT” (gotta love those running shoes)
And then there was Craig, a gentleman from the States, tall and very slim, with a mop of grey hair. He was so excited as soon as he entered the Museum. After going through the Museum, he was even more “over the moon” and left the Museum at least 2 feet from the ground. This was at a time when Walter Walker was still alive, Craig had idolized Walter apparently from an early age.
Craig returned that afternoon, just bubbling with so much enthusiasm. He was truly dancing with joy as he explained that he had actually phoned Walter and had been invited over to his house and given a tour of Walter's basement. He had bought one of Walter's paddles and there was just no containing this man. He insisted that a passing visitor take a photo of the three of us (Sarah Gastle, my volunteer, Craig, and myself). They obliged and he gave us the most humungous hugs and thanks. If he was 2 feet off the ground when he first left, he was hanging from cloud nine as he left the second time.
We have had so many happy and appreciative visitors, but really none quite like Craig.