A Life That's Good
By Phil Main
A Life That's GoodSep 04, 2023
Fincher's. It's been there my entire life and and has evolved over the years from a "smoke shop" at one point to a place for books, gifts and hobbies. As a kid, I used to buy plastic car and airplane model kits there, which of course, made it one of my favourite stores in town.
Funny how you think you know a lot about a place just because it's been there your whole life, but I learned a lot about this family run business while chatting with my old friend, Tom Fincher.
* The history and evolution of Fincher's
* Their love/respect for employees
* Toys, games and books that went viral long before we used that word to describe things that got popular fast.
There's still something almost comforting when I'm driving around the Square and I see the Fincher's sign. It's just a cool part of home for me and one of the places that makes life good.
38. Victoria Jubilee Hall & Robert Creighton
VJH has been a gathering place for performances and community events for more than 125 years. This week we're chatting about the history and importance of this beautiful jewel in the heart of Walkerton.
And, we are excited to chat with Actor, Singer, Dancer, Composer, Writer, Coach and Walkerton native, Robert "Bobby" Creighton. We'll talk about growing up small town, a hockey obsession, his legendary father, the Broadway stage and the show he's bringing to VJH on December 9th.
37. The Livery ~ Goderich Little Theatre (Christmas in the Highlands)
I might be looking forward to the pod a little extra today. We are talking with some really great friends about a place that's very near and dear to our hearts, in fact it's the place Milli and I met for the first time.
Today we're chatting with with my buddy John Lodge about the Livery Theatre in Goderich, some of it's amazing history and it's connection with Goderich Little Theatre.
Also joining us, a couple of people I talk about often, Warren and Eleanor Robinson who have a production called Christmas in the Highlands set to open soon.
It's a fun, nostalgic and heart warming chat.
36. And That's What Christmas is All About - (H.C. Christmas Bureau)
This week, Milli and I are going to do something on the pod that we generally try to avoid ... we are going to talk about Christmas ... before December 1st.
It is for a great reason though. The Huron County Christmas Bureau is an amazing organization that has been making Christmas better for families in need in Huron County, for more than 50 years. Joining us to chat all things Christmas Bureau is Executive Director, Katrina Clarke.
Milli and I will also talk about the newest inductees into the Toy Hall of Fame and discuss the toys that made life good for us when we were kids, as well a new poll about favourite holiday flavours and the "thing" that always makes it feel like Christmas.
35. Remember (Patrick Armstrong & The DMMF)
On October 14th 2006, Constable Dave Mounsey was enroute to a vehicle roll over when he lost control of his cruiser, due to the ice and snow covered roads. He sadly passed away just a few weeks later, on the date of this posting, November 13th.
Today we are remembering Dave with his close friend, Patrick Armstrong, police officer and veteran, who along with an incredible group of Dave's friends and colleagues, formed the Dave Mounsey Memorial Fund in 2009.
Patrick and I will talk about all things DMMF as well as: what it's like to be a cop in 2023, volunteering, serving, veterans, Remembrance Day and why it's so important to remember.
We'll end the show this week with with a reading of John McCrae's famous poem, In Flanders Fields.
The conversation may seem a little weightier at times than some weeks, but I believe it's important. Much of the discussion is fundamental to the very foundation of the lives we lead here in Midwestern Ontario and in Canada ... Lives that are good.
Thank you for being here.
34. Your Gifts Will Make a Place For You - FAUXPOP MEDIA (Mark Hussey & Randall Lobb)
FauxPop Media is a company providing high-end, professional media production services. From Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the Blackberry Movie, the Mr Dressup Biography and much more.
We're excited to share this conversation with you as we discuss FauxPop Media and how it drives The Staysh and Definitive Film.
We'll learn more about our guests Mark Hussey and Randall Lobb as we talk about the "blessing" of failure, success, dreams and the gifts that make a place for us all.
33. The Wingham Town Hall Theatre & United Way Perth-Huron
I've played countless shows there over the years and made some incredible memories with a lot of really special people and some incredible artists. This week we're chatting with my long time friend Terry Walker about the Wingham Town Hall Theatre, it's history and revival.
We're also going to check in with Lisa Harper to talk about United Way Perth Huron and a big fundraising show they're bringing to theatre featuring Canada's Celtic rock warriors, The MUDMEN. Founding member Robbie Campbell will also join us.
32. Getting To Know All About You (Ally Anderson Takeover)
She's our friend and we love her dearly. Last time she was on the pod we had several people reach out with the suggestion that we invite her back to interview Boomer and Milli.
You asked for it, you got it. :)
31. Give A Little Bit - The CKNX Healthcare Heroes Radiothon
We've said it a lot over the years ... "If we all give a little, we all get a lot." Those words grow increasingly important in times like these. None of us will escape the need for health care of some kind in our lives and why would we not want it to be the best it can be?
Our guests this week are three people who have been driving forces for their local hospital foundations over the years and who have, through the Radiothon become good friends of ours and of each other.
Dale Franklin - The Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation, Nicole Jutzi - Wingham & District Hospital Foundation and Wendy Hutton - Seaforth Community Hospital Foundation join us to chat about local ... quality healthcare.
Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. It's a time when I feel like I have some kind of unwritten permission to slow down, breathe, really see the people around me and give some thought to all the things I have to be so grateful for.
This week, Milli and I chat about the personal struggle we sometimes have to be grateful and we'll share a few strategies for practicing intentional gratitude. We're also very excited to share some really bad quality audio from our wedding reception this past weekend of a few of our friends and family answering the question, "Name some things you're grateful for?"
29. All My Life's a Circle - Benmiller Inn & Spa
It's hard to believe that though I performed in the lounge there for 12 years, it' now been 27 years since I last sang at beautiful Benmiller Inn.
I will be forever grateful for the people I met and the memories I made in that wonderful refuge and especially for the memories Milli and I made there together last May, when we celebrated our wedding brunch there.
Our guests this week are Sales & Marketing Manager, Linda Street and General Manager, Monique Wijnsma. I hope you'll join us as we chat about:
* Benmiller Inn's past, present & future
* A big, upcoming anniversary
* A very interesting man that Phil (Boomer) met there
* A live song from the studio
* And more ...
28. 'Till The Cows Come Holme (Glen & Vanda McNeil)
I first knew Glen McNeil as my best pal's Uncle when I was a kid growing up on Mary Street in Goderich. My buddy Neil often invited me to his grandparents farm north of Goderich, to catch frogs in the crick and watch his Uncle Glen milk cows.
These days, many people know Glen and Vanda McNeil for their dairy operation, Heather Holme Holsteins. Many more have come to know Glen as the Warden of Huron County for the past three years.
In this episode:
* A bit about the history of this amazing dairy operation.
* Family including Glen's parents Cliff and Evelyn.
* The importance of farm succession planning.
* Things that make farm life good in 2023 and the evolution of dairy farming since I first knew the McNeil family more than 50 years ago.
27. Walkerton's Run4Health + A Few Millennial Minutes with Milli
This week, we're going to stroll through the mind of our resident Millennial. If you've been wondering about some new music to listen too or what TV show you might like to binge this Fall, have a listen as we discuss that and a lot more.
Also this week, a chat with our friend Christine Brandt about an amazing event that supports the Walkerton Hospital Foundation ... Run4Health, now in it's 13th year.
We're all over the place but super glad you're here with us this week :)
26. Jamie Warren - One Step Back ... And a Few Forward
We're excited to have an old friend in the studio today to chat about what has been an incredible music career. He's hit many curve balls in his 40+ years of making music while staying true to who is. And, he's showing no signs of slowing down.
From growing up in Hanover to CKNX where we first met in the early 80's, to the process of writing, recording and performing and the state of the music business in 2023, we hope you'll enjoy our chat with the most awarded independent country artist in Canada, Jamie Warren.
25. The Art of Teaching (and Learning) ~ Eric & Susan Varillas with Keira Schaefer
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." ~ Albert Einstein
We are beyond grateful for the teachers in our lives who poured their hearts and souls into planting the seeds in our hearts and souls that helped us grow and become so much of who and what we are.
In this episode, Milli and I would like to introduce you to a couple of local teachers and friends of ours who practice the art of teaching and consider themselves beyond blessed to plant and nurture the seeds of learning and awakening in our kids.
We celebrate the return to classes this week with Susan and Eric Varillas and student Keira Schaefer. We will chat about teaching, learning and all the challenges and joys that come with it.
*For reference, here is a link to the song we mention at the end of our chat. I get that it may sound a little dated to you but it's a story that still gives me all the feels: Harry Chapin - "Flowers Are Red"
24. Bottled Poetry - Hessenland Inn & Schatz Winery
One of my favourite quotes about wine comes from Robert Louis Stevenson who once said, "Wine is bottled poetry." Who can argue with that?!
This week it's another great local hidden gem for us all to discover.
Kelsey Trotter and Branden Chaffe are here to talk wine and all the great things we can find at Hessenland Inn and Schatz Winery near St Joseph between Bayfield and Grand Bend.
23. The Bridge That Love Built (Ball's Bridge)
"Love can build a bridge, between your heart and mine - Love can build a bridge ... don't ya think it's time, don't ya think it's time?"
Those are the some of the lyrics to the 1990 hit song “Love Can Build a Bridge" by the Judds.
Love did build a bridge way back in 1885 on Little Lakes Road, about 9 km west of Goderich. Ball’s Bridge, also known as “the Bridge that Love Built”, is one of the most beautiful and romantic landmarks in Ontario.
138 years later, the bridge is still bringing people together. Sadly this time, it's to try to save and preserve the irreplaceable culture, history, agriculture and biodiversity of the bridge and surrounding area.
Our guests today are Rebecca Garrett and Jennifer Morris. Join us as we discuss the fight to Save Historic Ball's Bridge & Little Lakes Road.
22. The Life & Times of Neil Aitchison (Drayton Entertainment)
He has been many things in his lifetime: a broadcaster, actor, speaker and MC as well as a husband, dad and grandfather and friend to many. He's a native of Harriston and at 76 still works at all these things and uses his spare time to be a Senior Manager of Market Development for one of Ontario's Largest construction firms.
He's also kind, funny, grateful and I like to think ... my friend.
This week ... the life and times of Neil Aitchison with a highlight on one of his great loves (and mine) live theatre and Drayton Entertainment.
21. Loreena McKennitt (Goderich Celtic Roots Festival)
I've interviewed many celebrities in my time so I was surprised when I found myself feeling a little nervous to talk with Loreena McKennitt.
, platinum and multi platinum sales ... awards in 15 countries on 4 different continents ... Juno Awards, Grammy nominations, 14 million records sold or this induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Whatever it was, she had me feeling at ease in just moments and I think you'll hear why in our conversation.
She's a delight and she's coming to Goderich this Saturday evening (12th) to the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival.
20. Eat Local Huron & Meeting Place Organic Farm
Milli and I love to buy and prepare food together, particularly when we can find time to hit up a Farmer's Market and grab the produce fresh! A basket of snap peas in Milli's hands will not make it home.
This week we chat with two friends, Chris Spaleta and Katrina McQuail about their respective lives in farming and about an organization they helped start called Eat Local Huron, which in many ways, can bring the Farmer's Market, right to your door.
It was a highly enjoyable discussion for Milli and I. We hope you learn a little something like we did and perhaps discover some things that enrich your life.
19. Great Music For a Greater Cause - Music in the Field's
And of course, that greater cause in this case is our community!
How cool is it when a group of people come together to do good things?
It's that much better when it becomes a world class event and such is the case with the Lucknow Kinsmen and Music in the Fields.
This week, marketing director for MitF's Cheryl Johnston joins us to talk about how it started and how it just seems to get bigger and stronger every year!
Music in the Fields goes in Lucknow August 24th - 26th.
18. Grass Roots Farm ~ Pizza
We've enjoyed their wood fired pizza at different festivals over the years but when Milli and I showed up at Grass Roots Farm recently, we were genuinely surprised at everything we discovered. It's a beautiful spot, a lot more than pizza ... and in this episode we want you to discover it too.
We're going to dig into all that you'll find at Grass Roots Farm (especially the pizza) with co-founder Vicki Morrison and her daughter-in-law Courtney Morrison.
17. Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Ally Anderson)
Growing up in a small town ... A few reflections this week with our very good friend Alecia Anderson.
Ally A and Boomer are both Huron County kids ... Milli is Bruce County raised ...different or the same?
We'll also talk about school friends ... church ... knowing all the police officers in town by their names ... dying to get out of town ... dying to come back ... and the time Boomer got caught stealing.
Thanks for being here for this week's episode of A Life That's Good.
16. Goderich Celtic Roots Festival & College 2023 (Cheryl Prashker)
I'm not sure there's much I can say that I haven't said before. This is one of my favourite events of ...ever. The people, the music, the location all makes it feel like home.
This week we're honoured to have the artistic director of Goderich Celtic Roots Festival, and our friend Cheryl Prashker in the studio. We are excited to get to know a little bit more about her ... When did you know you had to have a career in music? How did you end up in Goderich after travelling the world with so many world class musicians? What can we look forward too at the 2023 festival?
Find out all that and so much more in this week's episode!
15. Adventure in Scotland + Kincardine Scottish Festival
This week we (Boomer and Milli) kick off the show with a few memories of our recent honeymoon in Scotland. A lifelong dream for both of us :)
And then ... an Irish guy walks into a radio studio in Canada to talk about a Scottish Festival :) Find out how that goes!!
We're excited to welcome Tony Doherty to our studio to chat about the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland games which will happen July 7-9!
14. Strawberry Fields Forever (Morrison Berries)
Fresh, locally grown food. It's the thing we do best around here. Thank you Farmers.
I have a picture I love of my three kids picking strawberries at Morrisons Berries when they were little. It's not that it's a great photograph but it reminds me of the joy they were feeling as they picked: one for the basket, and one for them ... one for the basket and another one for them ... you know the routine ;)
My guest this week is Emily Morrison of Morrison Berries.
We will talk all about the Morrison family, the history of the berry farm, how it all started and what it takes (and it's a lot more than you might think) to grow a delicious fresh strawberry.
13. Conway Furniture ... "Highway 86 Just East of Listowelll"
This show is called "A Life That's Good" ... and focuses on things that have made life and my career in radio so incredible for close to 40 years. There's no way I could do that without talking to my guest today. He has been such an important part of almost my entire career in radio. On this episode, my friend Paul Dekker and I will talk about our 30+ year history of doing radio ads together. We'll chat about the history of Conway Furniture, the family and extended family ... and all the ups and downs, dreams, joys and sorrows of running a business in small town Ontario.
12. PRIDE (Huron County & Kincardine)
June is PRIDE Month. Many people and communities across Canada recognize Pride Month. It is a time when we celebrate the diversity of LGBTQ+ communities, while acknowledging their history, the hardships they have endured and the progress that has been made. Pride is all about being seen and celebrating who you are.
Today on the program ... Two fantastic humans, Tim Damon of Huron County Pride and Fort Papalia of Kincardine Pride are here to talk about two very important organizations that are working to make Midwestern Ontario a better place for all of us.
11. A Season of Love @ Stratford Festival (Lee Siegel - RENT)
SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE ... sorry for yelling. My first guest is an actor I've been following for longer than I remember. Yes, I'm a fan of his work ... but also fan of the human ... he's a good guy ... a real good guy. Lee Siegel has performed locally for Drayton Entertainment and Stratford Festival. He's been on Broadway and everywhere in between. This year, he stars in the Stratford Festival production of RENT.
Later in the show Ann Swerdfager, Stratford Festival publicity director will join us to get us up to speed on many of the things happing at Stratford Festival this season.
10. Summertime in The Prettiest Town in Canada
Some claim that Queen Elizabeth II once commented that Goderich was "the prettiest town in Canada" although to my knowledge ... no reigning monarch has ever visited the town on the shores of beautiful Lake Huron.
And whether you choose to think of it as the prettiest town in Canada, the town with incredible sunsets ... the town with an octagon in the middle that we call a square but you drive around in a circle ... or resilient or friendly or (insert your adjective here) ... I will always just think of it ... as home.
In this episode, Milli and I are chatting with our friend Lisa Hood, Tourism, Events and Marketing Coordinator, about Goderich and all the things we can look forward to as summer arrives.
9. I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Frosty Queen
Believe it or not, I used to be young. Whenever we studied Shakespeare in high school, I would wonder how language could have possibly changed so much in just a few hundred years. Now that I'm a little older, I have to smile everytime I hear a word or phrase I've never heard before. Language is constantly changing and every generation seems to take it another few steps into the future ... for better or for worse. This week Milli and I talk quickly about some phrases that Boomers use that Gen Z doesn't understand. And, I will put my favourite millennial to the test to see if she knows these words and phrases.
And then ... some words all generations understand: ice cream, fries, burgers, poutine :) We will talk with the good folks from Frosty Queen in Wingham ... home of the world's best poutine, amazing ice cream and much more.
John Frieburger (former owner) and Paige Steep (current owner) will talk about the past, present and future of the iconic business on Josephine Street.
8. A Time To Plant - w Birch Creek Nursery & Mama Joan
May is a time to plant!
Thanks to our friend Ally Anderson for suggesting we check in with Claire and Andy Roest from Birch Creek Greenhouse & Florals just North of Goderich to get to know them a little and talk about flowers and planting.
It's such an exciting time of year as our lawns and gardens all come back to life and of course a big time of year for flowers, especially with Mother's Day coming!
We're celebrating that, by kicking off the podcast this week with a quick check in with my mom
7. How Are You ... Really?
A few years ago I got a message wondering how I was coping after a huge fundraising effort I'd been a part of. I, along with an incredible team of support staff and friends had run 120k spread over 5 consecutive days, to raise awareness for 5 mental health organizations in Midwestern Ontario. The training and planning had consumed my life for a couple of months prior. I told her I was fine. She asked again, "How are you ... really?" I was in fact not fine. I was dealing with post show blues ... the sadness that often comes for me when something wonderful reaches its natural conclusion. She and I had met a few months earlier at a mental health event in Goderich being sponsored by the Tanner Steffler Foundation.
Of course, there's a lot more to the story and we get into that a little bit this week as a lead up to a conversation about mental health with our friend John Steffler. John and his family are the founders of the Tanner Steffler Foundation. Learn more about one family's tragedy, and what they're doing to bring healing and hope to others in their community.
6. Dreams & Beans & Magical Fruit ~ Coastal Coffee
I've been loving this place for a few years now so it's exciting to finally have owners Ben & Bri Gingerich in our studio to chat about Coastal Coffee. We will get to know them both a little better as we discuss Coastal's incredibly unique location, dreams past and present and of course, coffee!
5. Head Over Meals (Favourite Restaurants) AND Souper Saturday
4. Adopt a Pet - A Boomer & Milli Podcats with Kathi Newell-Nicholson
In this episode, Milli joins us for the first time. We will explore some of the dynamic between Boomers and Millennials ... some things we might question about each other ... and one thing we totally agree on (albeit at different levels ;)) and that is a love of our cats and animals in general.
We welcome special guest Kathi Newell-Nicholson from Adopt-a-Pet Pet Rescue in Lucknow, Ontario.
FYI - Tuesday 11th, is National Pet Day!
3. Beer 101 with Jeremy Moore (Cowbell Brewing)
It's a fascinating place at the corner of 4 & 25 in the middle of nowhere ... and I love it! Check my Photoblog at Cool945.ca to see pics of some of what were discussing this week and to get a better feel for beautiful Cowbell Brewing Company in Blyth.
2. All The World's a Stage - World Theatre Day
Sometimes I think that if all the world really is a stage ... then whoever does the casting needs to be fired.
Since I was a very young man, theatre has been something that helped to pull me to a place of safety and belonging when the world was more than I could handle. This week, three amazing men to chat with. Gil Garratt, Artistic Director of the Blyth Festival Theatre, my old drama teacher Warren Robinson who along with his wife Eleanor, and Phil McMillan at GDCI in Goderich, nourished a young mans dreams of acting, singing and creating ... and our mutual friend and a fellow drama teacher from GDCI David Armour. It's all about the theatre this week on "A Life That's Good." #WorldTheatreDay
1. Life is Short, Eat Dessert First
A quick intro to the podcast and then a wonderful conversation with Karen Middleton-Meadham and Gerrit Sepers of Brod Bread & Pastry in Blyth and Chris Neamtu from Culbert's Bakery in Goderich. As we set off on this 65 week adventure to celebrate good things in Midwestern Ontario, we acknowledge that life is short ... eat dessert first.
It's been an incredible blessing to have lived and worked most of my life in Midwestern Ontario (Huron/Perth/Grey/Bruce and N. Wellington Counties). As I approach an age where some consider retirement, the thought of it fills me with wonder, some angst and a little disbelief ... but mostly, it fills me with gratitude. With that in mind, I've given myself a "65 Before 65 Challenge." In the coming 65 weeks I want to celebrate 65 things I love about living here. Things that have truly given me a life that's good.
I'm a Boomer. My wife is a Millennial. While the podcast will focus primarily on my close to 40 year career as a broadcaster in Midwestern Ontario, we will come to you often as Boomer & Milli, to share our unique perspectives and mutual love for the place we call home. Glad you're here. The first episode will drop March 20th.