Posts Tagged ‘Book’


December 22, 2015




Polly Of Bridgewater Farm, an unknown Irish story. We all know the book but much less the author.  Let me tell u a little bit about her.

AA CM Scrapbook

Catharine McKenty grew up on her grandparents’ farm, ”Donlands,” then eight miles outside the Toronto city limits on Don Mills Road.  She went in every day to Bishop Strachan School, where she won scholarships in French and German.  After taking a degree at Victoria College, University of Toronto, she spent four winters as a volunteer in the mining area of post-war Germany with an international group of young people involved in reconstruction.  Later she was Research Editor for Pace, a magazine for young people, based in Los Angeles and New York, and linked with the international musical group Up With People.

Next came a stint as a speechwriter for the Ontario Minister of Education in Toronto.  It was on the dance floor that she met her future husband, author-broadcaster Neil McKenty.  They moved to Montreal when Neil was offered a job at CJAD Radio.  Catharine worked at the Reader’s Digest.  Later she and her husband co-authored a bestseller on the early days of Quebec skiing: Skiing Legends and the Laurentian Lodge Club.


In 2002, Catharine set out to find the Fleming family farm in Northern Ireland, where the Corey family welcomed her and shared their knowledge of the old Irish ways.  Catharine did much of her research in Omagh Public Library (Tyrone Constitution 1844-47, and 100th and 150th anniversary editions), the Ulster American Folk Park; the Ulster Folk and transport Museum, and linen Hall Library, Belfast.

Go check out the bookstore: click here

Jean P.


December 15, 2015

The Other Key

An Inspector Julian Main Mystery




A glimpse.

It was January 4, 2003, when Inspector Julian Main was jolted from a deep sleep by his telephone ringing, like a warning.  Groggily, he looked at his watch.  2:15.  his mouth felt dry and rancid like sour wine.  ”Commander Durocher here, Inspector.  I’ve just been informed that Louise Branson, the wealthy socialite, has been murdered in her home at 76 Forden Road in Westmount.  I want you to take charge of the case and I think you should get over there right away.”

For the next two months, Inspector Main, Homicide Division, Montreal Police, tracked the killer like a leopard stalking a gazelle.  The hunt took to London, where he had been attached to Scotland Yard, and to Dublin, where his sister had been sexually assaulted.  In the end it brought him back to Montreal where he and his sidekick, the gum chewing Detective Roy Marchand, uncover the other key.



Get your copy here:bookstore



Jean P.



December 9, 2015

Brand New Edition


Neil McKenty Live! The lines are still blazing.

A brand new edition is now available get it here:click here


A special thanks to Light Messages Publishing in Durham, North Carolina.

Here’s a link to their website: Light Messages



Jean P.


December 8, 2015

Neil McKenty Live! The lines are still blazing

Chapter 3

CJAD’s First-ever Open-line Talk Show

Covering the Olympics was an exciting adventure.  It was a great time to be in Montreal and to be on radio.  One of my indelible memories is strolling down to the Montreal Forum one night to watch gymnast Nadia Comaneci score a perfect ten.  I was on the phone and on the air within ten seconds.  Blackman and I never became pals, but I believe he began to respect me.

One day he called me into his office, sat me down, and asked me if I would be interested in becoming moderator of CJAD’s first-ever open-line talk show.  I nearly fell off my chair.  The program would run from 10 to 11 a.m., five days a week, and my co-host would be Hélène Gougeon, seasoned professional.  (Her husband was a distinguish author, playwright, and Laurier biographer, Joseph Schull,)  I was startled by Blackman’s officer, because I didn’t think he had that much confidence in me, and I certainly didn’t have that much confidence in me.  Doing a daily talk show in Montreal, with all its conflicting and treacherous undercurrents, seemed to me a daunting prospect.

The day before the show was to debut Elvis Presley died.  I say this not because I was a fan of Presley, but because his death was the topic of my first ”Exchange” program.  Normally, I would not have chosen Presley, But Montreal was going nuts over his premature death of a drug overdose.  There were candle light vigils and special charter flights to take fans to his funeral in Tennessee.  I couldn’t ignore the impact of Presley’s passing.  I did the only thing I could do.  I took a contrarian view.  I switched on the microphone and openly questioned why there was so much fuss over the death of an overweight, bloated, pill-popping singer with rotten teeth.  You can guess what happened.  The lines melted with outrage.  the response was exactly what I had wanted.  It demonstrated that (a) I had a lot of listeners, (b) many of them were young, which was great for advertising sales, and (c) any self-doubt I have had about generating calls was unfounded.  The lines opened and kept blazing for the next ten years.

Thanks to my enthusiastic and intelligent producer, Trish McKenna and Holy Haimerl, it became one of the most exciting in the business – being plugged into a Montreal audience for two hours.  We talked about everything from abortion to incest.  One of the zaniest shows I recall was ”Driving With Your Mate,” – ( – how to get along with your spouse while driving a car.  Live radio is simultaneously exhilarating, intimate, anonymous, and enormously flexible.

The program which provoked the most uproar involved Brian Mulroney when he was still leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition.  He agreed to be a guest on the program, but his handlers informed me that one of the conditions of his coming on ”Exchange” was that he would not take nay telephone calls.  To me, that made as much sense as going for a television interview on the condition that no one turn on the lights.  The Toronto Star got wind of Mulroney’s conditions, carried the story on it’s front page, and by the time he arrived at CJAD he was in rage.  I was ordered to the station manager’s office.

There was Mulroney, perspiring, red-faced, and yelling at me for embarrassing him politically.  ”Why should I waste my time taking calls from English-speaking Montrealers?” he shouted, ”They are all bloody Liberals.”

But Mulroney was no fool.  He knew that he had more to lose than to gain if he ducked the questions.  So he stood up, squared his shoulders, flashed a wan smile, and went on the air.  He took a dozen or so calls, almost all of them in his favor.  Callers gave him both a warm and intelligent reception.




Book available here: click here




Jean P.


September 27, 2015

Who is Polly or Aunt Polly for some?

Since it was the author’s birthday not too long ago, I decided to encourage you to get to know Polly.

POLLY OF BRIDGEWATER FARM, AN UNKNOWN IRISH STORY”, is a wonderful true story about a bubbly little girl born in 1837 near Dromore, Northern Ireland. Ten years later, due to great famine and destruction, Polly and her family migrated to Canada.  Here is a glimpse of her early life in Ireland:

And now, to keep Polly from being lonesome away from home, in the big bed in the loft of their grandparents’ house, Eliza whispered another story to her from olden times of three Scottish princesses who fell in love with three Irish princes.  Eliza rose to her full height, waved her arms with the drama of it all, her golden hair shimmering in the moonlight as she described the tragedy, the death of the three princes in battle, and the heartbreak of the three princesses as they turned their faces into the ground to die on the spot of grief.  Polly wiped a tear from her eyes as the glorious story ended, then promptly fell asleep, curled up beside her sister in the old house with an owl hooting gently outside in the starlit night.”


Here is a link for the book: click here