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Old 11-19-2016, 11:09 PM   #1
Rob1956
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Default If Gord's Lungs Could Speak

Ok, so in the last 48 hours or so, I learned something that I knew I would hear, yet dreaded to hear: Gord admitting that he has emphysema. I had read before that Gord said he had started smoking at age 15. So did my parents. My dad was born in 1923, my mother in 1925. They both started smoking at age 15 which puts the advent of smoking around 1940-1942. In 1988 they both discovered they had lung cancer. My dad died in 1994, my mom in 1997. So smoking took it's toll. I remember as a kid, on Christmas Day, emptying the 6 or 7 ashtrays of cigarette butts from ashtrays from Christmas Eve when the relatives were over. Ashtrays full of butts. Dozens upon dozens of butts, into the garbage. I thank God my two sisters and I never had even the slightest desire to smoke. To us, it was a disgusting, dirty, bad breath situation we had to deal with from our parents and relatives. Through his twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, Gordon Lightfoot must have heard of what smoking could do to his body. Yet, he didn't give a shit. Children, and grandchildren yet to see, could not stack up to his desire to go out on his porch and have a smoke. Yes, he knew what smoking could do to his lungs, yet he didn't care. So at some point in the last few years, he was told that he has emphysema. And in the last few weeks, during interviews he's referred to it as a "touch of lung disease" and emphysema that he'll have to nurse back to health. I don't know if anyone has sat him down to explain what is really going on. The reality is: the meter is now running. Yes, you could say that at 78 the meter is running anyway, but now it is accelerated. Oxygen needed on the plane to concerts. Really? Did Gord think we'd never know? I love the guy to death, his music has changed my life in many ways. But for Gord to keep smoking while this is going on? In a recent interview, the person asking the questions asked Gord if he had stopped smoking. Gord responded "Of course not. Do you know of anyone who has?" Yes, Gord, my parents did. It's true, it's too late for stopping smoking to help you in totality, however here's what would happen if you stopped smoking today: Within 48 hours your lungs would start to try and expel the tar, nicotine, formaldehyde, and other components of cigarette smoke from your lungs. You would experience increased phlem and sputum as your lungs began to clean themselves. Yet, the damage you've caused them cannot be changed. However, stopping smoking would allow whatever meds your doctor has prescribed for you to work better, not encumbered with daily onslaught of incoming smoke. So Gordon, it's up to you, yes, the daily workouts at the gym will probably increase you life by a few months. But you have a deadly, progressive disease in you that you caused. To call it a "touch of a lung disease" makes you look uninformed and misleading to your fans. I personally would like to see you live to 100 and die peacefully in your bed. But chances are you will be sucking on an oxygen tank in 3 years hoping God will end it for you. I'm sorry, my parent's stupid choices weigh heavily on me and because you mean so much to me, I find myself being painfully honest. I wish you the best.
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: If Gord's Lungs Could Speak

I agree with you. Gord should have known what the smoking has been doing to him. Sometimes the smokers just don't care. They might have a death-wish or who-cares attitude, I think smoking is the worst thing you can do to your body when it's otherwise healthy.
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:49 PM   #3
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As we also know smoking is THE most addictive vice to have and the hardest to quit.. Millions of people quit over and over.. for some it can't be done. It just can't. It's not like he doesn't know how or can't quit an addictive habit. He did it with alcohol...a handshake with a doctor prmising to stop and that was that. Done and done.

While I understand the wish that he would have stopped years ago and would stop now for the sake of his health and to live longer and see grandchildren grow up etc. it is just something that owns him as addictive substances do.

I don't fault him for not stopping but do wish as a 15 year old he had never started. I have never smoked and like you had parents who did and lived with ashtrays full of cigarette butts as well as cigars and pipe tobacco. I've lost family members to lung disease such as Gordon has and that was years after they had stopped smoking..
At this point in his life the backtracking to healthy lungs if he stopped would be minimal if at all. He is not a young man and his lungs are obviously quite scarred from decades of smoking. H

He doesn't owe me any explanation now and never did.
What he says to a reporter and what is the 100% real, honest to gawd truth may be a lot different. He's not a stupid man - he knows the facts of his own health issues.

Yes, as a young 15 year old he started on a path to a deadly health issue. Many have and the addiction controlled them all their lives, shortened or otherwise. It breaks my heart to pass the local high school and see another generation of young teens standing around and smoking just as Gordon did back in 1953. If anyone should know better it's the children of the last 30+ years who still started despite the warnings...and those 10 year olds in grade 6 will be the smokers of tomorrow....it's heartbreaking and I am so glad both of my children are not smokers.

Gordon is doing as he wants and despite the health issues, he seems happy with his life, touring with his band, loving his family and new wife and being a humble and grateful man for all life has rewarded him with for the decades of hard work and devotion to his craft.
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Old 11-20-2016, 12:34 AM   #4
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Charlene, that's the difference between you and me, I do fault him for not stopping. We all must take responsibility for our actions. All that he's been through...The aneurysm, the surguries, the TIA, couldn't Rick or Meredith talk some sense to him. I fear the closest to him let him down.
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: If Gord's Lungs Could Speak

I was pretty dismayed when I learned that he picked up the cancer sticks again after his long time in the hospital in a coma. If there had been a time to give them up, it would have been then, when his body at least had withdrawn from the addiction. However, the mind addiction is just as bad and once I learned he had started lighting up again, I knew it would probably stay with him until the end. *sigh*
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: If Gord's Lungs Could Speak

oh, the smoking debate. i smoke but i dont like it. i spent 7 weeks in hospital for hand injuries 3 years ago (tottally unrelated). not a puff or a sip of alcohol in that time, without a craving. when i got home, i had a nap in my own bed - then went straight to the bottle shop and smoke zone. there's two addictions - the physical one and the mental one, where your brain tells you "ooh, i havent havent had a cigarette for a couples of hours" he could the physical addiction or the mental one. i've got the mental one. i heard bob dylan gave up the fags a few years ago - and he sounds better these days!
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:03 PM   #7
Affair on Touhy Ave.
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I think how he takes care of his heath is his own personal business and we need to just let him be and just discuss hi music and career.
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:22 PM   #8
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It's quite upsetting hearing about this and more so I guess knowing that we'll be seeing Gord just next week in Massey Hall. It kinda hits hard when it's so very close to home.

In the audio CD collection of "It's A long Story, My Life" by Willie Nelson, he talks about the painful passing of his Dad at 65 who smoked most of his life and ended up having to take oxygen.
He mentions that the tobacco industry, for decades hid the truths about it's product's deadly properties.

In a most mind boggling article written March/20/1994 in the New York Times titled "How Do Tobacco Executives Live With Themselves?" it was disclosed a donation of $3 million-plus grant was made for the Vatican art treasures exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983.
When Terence Cardinal Cooke, then the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, offered a benediction at a banquet celebrating the exhibition, Frank Saunders, a Philip Morris vice president, remarked: "We are probably the only cigarette company of this earth to be blessed by a Cardinal."
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Old 11-20-2016, 07:23 PM   #9
Affair on Touhy Ave.
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And just for the record Rob I didn't mean to sound insensitive to your dad's situation and sorry I missed the parts about their situation.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:15 PM   #10
Rob1956
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Affair on Touhy Ave. View Post
I think how he takes care of his heath is his own personal business and we need to just let him be and just discuss hi music and career.
I have to respectfully disagree. If Gordon brought it up in an interview, it's fair game.
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:14 PM   #11
charlene
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Addiction... Some addicts want to stop, try to stop...but can't. I'm sure no one feels worse for starting smoking and not being able to quit than the addict..

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publicatio...tine-addictive
Is Nicotine Addictive?

Most smokers identify tobacco use as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million want to quit each year.

Yes. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and abuse, even in the face of negative health consequences. It is well documented that most smokers identify tobacco use as harmful and express a desire to reduce or stop using it, and nearly 35 million of them want to quit each year. Unfortunately, more than 85 percent of those who try to quit on their own relapse, most within a week.

Research has shown how nicotine acts on the brain to produce a number of effects. Of primary importance to its addictive nature are findings that nicotine activates reward pathways—the brain circuitry that regulates feelings of pleasure. A key brain chemical involved in mediating the desire to consume drugs is the neurotransmitter dopamine, and research has shown that nicotine increases levels of dopamine in the reward circuits. This reaction is similar to that seen with other drugs of abuse and is thought to underlie the pleasurable sensations experienced by many smokers. For many tobacco users, long-term brain changes induced by continued nicotine exposure result in addiction.

Nicotine’s pharmacokinetic properties also enhance its abuse potential. Cigarette smoking produces a rapid distribution of nicotine to the brain, with drug levels peaking within 10 seconds of inhalation. However, the acute effects of nicotine dissipate quickly, as do the associated feelings of reward, which causes the smoker to continue dosing to maintain the drug’s pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, craving, depression, anxiety, cognitive and attention deficits, sleep disturbances, and increased appetite. These symptoms may begin within a few hours after the last cigarette, quickly driving people back to tobacco use. Symptoms peak within the first few days of smoking cessation and usually subside within a few weeks. For some people, however, symptoms may persist for months.

Although withdrawal is related to the pharmacological effects of nicotine, many behavioral factors can also affect the severity of withdrawal symptoms. For some people, the feel, smell, and sight of a cigarette and the ritual of obtaining, handling, lighting, and smoking the cigarette are all associated with the pleasurable effects of smoking and can make withdrawal or craving worse. Nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, patches, and inhalers may help alleviate the pharmacological aspects of withdrawal; however, cravings often persist. Behavioral therapies can help smokers identify environmental triggers of craving so they can employ strategies to prevent or circumvent these symptoms and urges.

more info at the link
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:49 AM   #12
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I fail to see why anyone would want to take up smoking, like all youngsters I tried it, many years ago, and it tasted foul, absolutely awful. That was enough for me. Never again said I, and I am grateful for it. Unlike my first bite in to a chocolate bar, yum yum, I want more of this. But nicotine NO.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:10 AM   #13
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One day I was talking to Gordon right after he started touring again after the coma, I told him I was shocked that he was lighting up a cigarette, he said "I quit drinking so I have to have a least 1 vice". I felt bad for him then, and still do. I figured it would haunt him some time in his life, and so now it does. Hope it all goes easy on him. I seen my mother die from cancer when she was 72, smoking related, and she smoked all her life too. I never smoked and now that I am 73, I never will. For sure though, it doesn't guarantee me a long life, but it probably helps.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:01 PM   #14
Martyn Miles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Nasium View Post
I fail to see why anyone would want to take up smoking, like all youngsters I tried it, many years ago, and it tasted foul, absolutely awful. That was enough for me. Never again said I, and I am grateful for it. Unlike my first bite in to a chocolate bar, yum yum, I want more of this. But nicotine NO.
I totally agree. Anyone who starts smoking is a fool.
( Why GL started in the first place baffles me )

As I love GL's music I feel so sad about his current health issues.
I was really shocked when I saw him at Oxford and guessed something must be up.
I won't be going to see him perform again.
Thankfully I have his music to listen to...
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: If Gord's Lungs Could Speak

We all love Gordon, no question here. He knows we
are on here discussing many things about him, mostly his music.

We've discussed other aspects of his personal life before,
including drinking and to me, ssmoking is certainly no exception.

My father smoked from age 11 to 61, tried only 2 maybe 3 times to quit but quit the final time when it was too late. He was born Sept. 1938 just under 2 months older than Gordon.

In Gord's case, he's been very lucky to be with us, my father been gone since 8/17/2000....actually 5 weeks or so before turning 62, he'd be 78 now himself.

It seems to me (by my observations of men in my Dad's generation) they all started smoking for close to the same reasons. It wasn't 'known' to be dangerous and the stars al smoked, their parents probably did and the tobacco co.'s made sure people would 9 out of 10 times, end up 'lighting up
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:21 PM   #16
Affair on Touhy Ave.
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We all love Gordon, no question here. He knows we
are on here discussing many things about him, mostly his music.

We've discussed other aspects of his personal life before,
including drinking and to me, ssmoking is certainly no exception.

My father smoked from age 11 to 61, tried only 2 maybe 3 times to quit but quit the final time when it was too late. He was born Sept. 1938 just under 2 months older than Gordon.

In Gord's case, he's been very lucky to be with us, my father been gone since 8/17/2000....actually 5 weeks or so before turning 62, he'd be 78 now himself.

It seems to me (by my observations of men in my Dad's generation) they all started smoking for close to the same reasons. It wasn't 'known' to be dangerous
That maybe true but the way I see it it's just common sense that when you breathe in smoke whether it's smoke from a fire or cigarettes, it's gonna cause damage and I personally believe the medical field for whatever reasons chose to overlook it because it just doesn't make sense that it took until the 60's I guess to find out smoking is unhealthy.

I'm gonna even bet that there were even some who did think it was bad where so many others doubted it.


I just hope Gordon isn't foolish enough to walk down the street smoking and throw the buts on the ground.

Last edited by Affair on Touhy Ave.; 11-21-2016 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:58 PM   #17
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Hi, Touhy.

Just a little perspective from someone who was young when the surgeon general's notice about tobacco came out (1964, was it?). It's true that lots of people suspected that tobacco caused health problems--that's why they popularly called cigarettes "coffin nails" for many years before that.

But the amount of money and "research" the tobacco companies put into hiding and denying the effects was staggering. Just look at some YouTube videos of cigarette commercials from the '50s and '60s. Look at print ads of doctors swearing that tobacco was not only safe, but even healthful ("not a cough in a carload", was one slogan). Look at TV and the movies in the '40s, '50s and 60', and see how much smoking went on--do you think this was just by accident? This was the atmosphere Gord grew up in. He obviously has a bit of an addictive personality (his drinking, for example), and it might just have been impossible for him to give it up. It makes me enormously sad, and I have many smokers in my family who are in the same boat, but you have to understand that there was not only no stigma against smoking--it was socially cool, and was messaged by companies that had billions to spend on advertising and product placement.

DQ

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Old 11-21-2016, 10:05 PM   #18
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I actually had to log out before, so I really hadn't
finished my message. (didn't know there'd be such a quick reply).


What I was going to conclude with, is that, Gordon (I'm guessing), may know exactly what he's doing and may have done here. Whether his comment of almost 'blythly' dismissing the emph. as something lesser, were just off the cuff, I don't know,


...but, many people that have smoked have somehow lived to 100
and Gordon is still around for a reason. Again, he's been very lucky.


And I consider my self lucky to be the first person in my family to never try those terrible things. Jim Nasium said "Like ALL young people he tried it but me , NO WAY...I wanted nothing to do with it.

I was called chicken and all that Bull-oney, but I steered
clear. These, drugs and alcohol. Even waited for the right time with Miss right.

In Gordon's case, much as i hate to think of him in that light. the nicotine may be stronger than the will to quit. Just like a person who eats more than they should & things they shouldn't bt so anyway.

If he quit now.....he 'could' add a few more years and somehow beat the odds. Sounds unrealistic I know, but I'd rather think that , than the worst.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:32 AM   #19
charlene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Affair on Touhy Ave. View Post
That maybe true but the way I see it it's just common sense that when you breathe in smoke whether it's smoke from a fire or cigarettes, it's gonna cause damage and I personally believe the medical field for whatever reasons chose to overlook it because it just doesn't make sense that it took until the 60's I guess to find out smoking is unhealthy.

I'm gonna even bet that there were even some who did think it was bad where so many others doubted it.


I just hope Gordon isn't foolish enough to walk down the street smoking and throw the buts on the ground.
Cigarette manufacturers knowingly added addictive and carcinogenic substances to cigarettes..huge lawsuits were settled a few years ago..

By the mid 70's warnings were issued about the hazards of smoking...20 years after Gordon started...and being fully addicted to them by that time..
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:36 AM   #20
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Eating disorders are mental health issues ... cigarettes are an addiction caused by substances taken into the body.

THe addiction is stronger than the will to stop for many who being young and invincible believe they can stop any time they want....until they can't.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
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By the mid 70's warnings were issued about the hazards of smoking...20 years after Gordon started...and being fully addicted to them by that time..
Government warnings, yes, but it's not like other warnings weren't out there before that. Reading this thread I flashed back to some WW2 era Reader's Digests I own, and remembered reading an article that was, IMHO, pretty frank and alarming about how bad tobacco and nicotine are for you. I just went and dug the article up, turns out it was written by a former boxing champ and then-current man in charge of Naval physical training and athletics, from DEC 1941 pages 21-24, then I googled the article's name, and found that a scan of reprint of it exists online:

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/134744


So how much did people know or did they care if they did know? The tobacco industry certainly marketed their products in the most positive ways possible, but... word was still out there somewhere if people wanted to hear it.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:31 AM   #22
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here in australia, we've raised the taxes and introduced 'plain packaged' cigarettes, where every brand looks the same to put people off them. the package doesnt do anything - but the prices do! $34 for a standard of marlboros now!. but it wont stop people. that's why most people buy ready-made chop-chop's!. this is how every brand looks these days

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Old 11-22-2016, 11:10 AM   #23
charlene
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same here in Canada - high taxes and warnings on packages...
BUT kids still start every year..it's very disheartening...
and they become hooked...
and the majority of those who are smokers are hooked and can't stop.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:19 PM   #24
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So, a lot of things go running around in a Lightfoot fan's mind. Did Gord and his surrogates wait until a "tipping point" was reached before he "mentioned" to an interviewer that he had a lung disease. Did they wait until it really became obvious that he was struggling with something. I've read numerous remarks about the Oxford shows that people were unprepared for his physical presence. Perhaps this was a trial balloon to float that would give Gord an easier exit from performing live than what people expected. I don't know. It may be still too early to tell. I'm angry, but I'll admit, it's all selfish. I want the guy to keep going forever, but like everyone reading this, he can't. I'm also a big Neil Diamond fan, and he's turning 76 in January. Neil Young is 71. Justin Hayward, the youngest member of the Moody
Blues just turned 70. So all our singer songwriters are now into advanced age, and those of us who grew up with them have to deal with it. Sad but true. Same could be said for fans of Sinatra, Perry Como, Dean Martin...but these people weren't songwriters. People like Gord are indeed special. Which makes the news of Gord's new health issues even harder to take.
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:21 AM   #25
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He was using oxygen over a year ago when on tour...there was mention of it then. Vertigo/inner ear problems were mentioned as well as pneumonia. Now it's been diagnosed and named so he's not one to skirt the issues at this point in his life. No sense tip toeing around it I guess.. It's out there. it is what it is and he's soldiering on. Many concert goers who have not seen him in years are surprised about his physical presence. Even those who saw him 10 years ago will be surprised. He's changed, he's aged, he's had health issues....
If I had my druthers I'd actually prefer he protect his health in every way he can and not press himself the way he does on these tours. That's me being selfish in wanting him to sit back and rest and try to stay as healthy as possible under the current health circumstances and enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation with his family. BUt I know that's not he wants so I will go to the concerts at Massey Hall this week and say thank you to him (and for him) once again.
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