Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A More Personal Note on Robert Goulet

On a more personal note ( B-flat, I believe), I've always felt a curious and silly connection with Robert Goulet.

It comes from this.

When I was in my late teens, I was sitting in the dining room at the Charterhouse Hotel in downtown Winnipeg. Goulet sat down practically next to me. I remember that he was shorter than me and impossibly handsome. He was already a big star in Canada, but this was before the "Camelot" role that made him famous. We struck up a warm and utterly forgettable conversation. He was pleasant.

Later, I learned that he had starred in at least one show at Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park.

I couldn't possibly have predicted, sitting in that booth in the restaurant in Winnipeg in about 1960, that I would star in "Guys & Dolls" (1972), "The Pajama Game" ('73), "Bye, Bye Birdie" ('75), and "Oliver!" ('87), also at TUTS.

Goulet wasn't my all-time favorite singer or actor, but he had a glorious voice and sometimes, with the right song, he was unbeatable.

As well, his famous story about landing the part of Lancelot in "Camelot," opposite Julie Andrews and Richard Burton is the stuff of show biz legend.

Lerner & Lowe had exhausted all usual sources looking for the right singer/actor for this role and were so unhappy with the results, after seeing literally hundreds of men, that they were about to go to Europe to continue the search.

A very sceptical Goulet rushes down from Montreal or Toronto, picks up the sheet music for "If Ever I would Leave You," opens his throat and the rest is history.

Robert Goulet Dead

Robert Goulet, 73


Associated Press

October 30, 2007 at 7:48 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES — Robert Goulet, the handsome, big-voiced baritone whose Broadway debut in "Camelot" launched an award-winning stage and recording career, has died. He was 73.

The singer died Tuesday morning in a Los Angeles hospital while awaiting a lung transplant, said spokesman Norm Johnson.

He had been awaiting a lung transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being found last month to have a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis.

Goulet had remained in good spirits even as he waited for the transplant, said Vera Goulet, his wife of 25 years.

"Just watch my vocal cords," she said he told doctors before they inserted a breathing tube.
The Massachusetts-born Goulet, who spent the majority of his youth in Canada, gained stardom in 1960 with "Camelot," the Lerner and Loewe musical that starred Richard Burton as King Arthur and Julie Andrews as his Queen Guenevere.

Goulet played Sir Lancelot, the arrogant French knight who falls in love with Guenevere.

He became a hit with American TV viewers with appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other programs. Sullivan labelled him the "American baritone from Canada," where he had already been a popular star in the 1950s, hosting his own show called "General Electric's Showtime."

Since YouTube has changed their format, I cannot simply show you a video. But you can click the link below to see and hear the video.

Adrian Mastracci Reacts to the Federal Tax Revisions

KCM, Insight on InvestingPerspective from Adrian Mastracci, Portfolio Manager

"Canada's economic update"For Immediate ReleaseVancouver, BC (October 30, 2007): Some brief comments on today's proposals by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance:

There are a number of tax incentives that touch everyone: individuals, small businesses and corporations. It's a welcome approach to reducing the tax loads for the long term.

As an example, the lowest personal income tax rate will be reduced to 15% from 15.5%, effective January 1, 2007. The amount that all Canadians can earn without paying federal income tax will be increased to $9,600 for 2007 and 2008, and to $10,100 for 2009.

The Finance Minister estimates that these two measures together will reduce personal income taxes for 2007 by more than $400 for a typical two-earner family of four earning $80,000, and by almost $225 for a single worker earning $40,000.

The markets are likely to applaud the measures as positive steps.

If Canada's economic situation improves from here, look for the Loonie to rise further from current levels. Hence, our exporters may face more challenging times ahead in keeping their costs in check.

Small businesses, who provide the majority of jobs, will be happy to see lower rates. Especially, if the Provinces and Territories join the rate reduction bandwagon.The one caution is that today's measures are only proposals. They must be passed into law first.Of course, tax reductions from any Government in power are really a return of some of the revenues collected by the Government.

I welcome your questions, comments and opinions.


Adrian MastracciPortfolio Manager, R.F.P.,KCM Wealth Management Inc."Private-Client" Portfolio Managers & Financial Advisors Suite 1500, Box 1078, 885 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 3E8 Tel: (604) 739-4500 Fax: (604) 739-0234 Visit Our Website: <http://www.kcmwealth.com/>

Let Youth be Served

Just when you're feeling like a dinosaur, a dodo bird, a relic from the junk heaps of the Dodge Cities of Christmases Past...well, along comes the conformation.

Susan Lyne, the former president of ABC Entertainment says, "Anything that is complex narrative story-telling - one-hour dramas, narrative miniseries, character-driven movies for television - advertisers don't believe there is an audience under fifty for these kinds of shows."

O.K. We know what that says about us - we've had the biscuit, we're over the hill, we're done, toast, gone.

But what does it say about the next gen?

Mindless boobs with the attention span of a spaniel.


Let's All Hold Hands Now, Class

"We tried to talk it over, but the words got in the way."

The lyrics from a sappy hit of yesteryear.

But appropriate for so much of what passes for public discourse these days.

An SFU egghead waxes large and loud about a teacher who refused to give her grade 3 kids a test.

He calls her a revolutionary hero. He says the teacher was defending these poor little victims from "psychological & educational vandalism."

He tells a graduating class that this woman's "character, conviction and willingness to act" should be "an inspiration to you."

All beautifully said. All politically correct.

All completely wrong.

We are tested every day.

But we mustn't give the little kids any tests, god forbid, because it might cause them some stress.

We pass kids from one grade to another who cannot read or write or compute.

But we don't want to test them.

You know why?

Because the test scores might reveal what lousy and ineffective teachers we are.

Public Information Lag

Will we ever be told why Victoria's Police Chief has been asked to step aside?