A companion suddenly gone

A boy and his first best friend – c1955.

It was a reflex. An involuntary response. It’s what I’ve always done when it starts to thunder or rain really heavily, like it did the other evening. It was during that thaw Monday night when all of a sudden we got a cloud burst over the house. Being in my office upstairs, and close to top of the house, as soon as I heard the rain begin to pound on the roof, I pushed my desk chair back, turned for the door and called out.

“It’s OK, Bud,” I said. Then, I stopped myself.

Champions of a dream

Don Harron collaborated with Norman Campbell to produce the first TV version of "Anne of Green Gables" for CBC in 1956.
Don Harron collaborated with Norman Campbell to produce the first TV version of "Anne of Green Gables" for CBC in 1956.

It was 1956. Television was in its infancy. Canadian programs such as Cross-Canada Hit Parade, Front Page Challenge, The Big Revue and, yes, the Barris Beat, were new on the tube. This country’s actors, singers, dancers, writers and directors were just getting their show-business legs in a new medium. One of its rising stars, a multi-faceted comedic actor named Don Harron, happened to meet another up-and-comer, producer Norman Campbell.

“What am I going to do?” Campbell asked Harron. “I’ve got 90 minutes of time to fill on CBC TV and no program.”

“I’ve got an idea,” Harron said. “Let’s put ‘Anne of Green Gables’ on TV.”