That was Douglas Campbell's fitting toast. (Mine is "Outrageous happiness.") I met Douglas only at the end of his long and rich life; he and Moira graciously lent their townhouse to us for the FALLEN writing room. But you only had to meet him to know immediately that this was a grand old Shakespearean.
Douglas was a truth-teller, as one friend after another told us, always willing to bust a bad production, but always willing to explain exactly what was wrong. (I got a bit of his truth when I tried to get him to come to a Justin Trudeau fundraiser once.) I wondered whether he got in a lot of trouble for that. I have the same ailment -- I find it extremely hard to say something is good if it's not, and I've pissed off any number of people for it. I suspect Douglas got away with it better, as a theatrical man can.
The memorial reminded me of the memorial for Robin Spry, who was another grand old man, always helping other people get their careers started, always trying to get something going, whether it was a theatre in North Hatley or a film company. I think Douglas was someone who brought you up to his own level, by criticizing, by advising, and by simple demanding it. I hope if my life and career last as long as Douglas's, people will remember me for helping them break in, or get to the next step.
It was a memorial more joyous than sad. Douglas was never about the past, we heard. He was always about what was next. So we drank a spot of whiskey and sang Auld Lang Syne with all the words, and walked out into the warm night determined to do something great tomorrow.
Labels: the bourne from which no traveller returns