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This article was published 18/3/2019 (485 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
McNally Robinson Booksellers set up a display with two of Randy Turner’s titles on Sunday, the latest in a series of memorial tributes to the late author and award-winning Free Press journalist.
An in memoriam poster with Turner’s photograph graced a bookstand, with a table beneath it stacked with copies of City Beautiful and Back in the Bigs, both regional bestsellers for the bookstore at the Grant Park Shopping Centre, which hosts local author nights and does a thriving business in regional titles.
Turner, a Free Press writer with a scope of work that spanned sports, news, features and columns for 31 years, died last Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 57.
He was nominated seven times for a National Newspaper Award, winning it twice. He wrote three books for the paper, including Back in the Bigs and The First Season, which were about the return of the National Hockey League and the Jets to Winnipeg.
He also wrote City Beautiful for the Free Press, a richly illustrated history of the architectural DNA of Winnipeg.
Both City Beautiful and Back in the Bigs have been bestsellers for McNally, so word of his death prompted the bookseller to set up the display.
"Sales have been steady." Steve Benstead, one of the store’s managers, said on Sunday. "And this week, they picked up. Unfortunately," he added.
Fans paid tribute to Turner with a moment of silence Thursday night at Bell MTS Place before the Jets game against the Boston Bruins. The legislature also paid tribute with another moment of silence and a short statement by Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister.
Marla Nystrom-Smith was one of Turner’s fans, among his 65,000 followers on Twitter — a following bigger than the premier’s or the city’s mayor, Brian Bowman. Twitter was where Turner shared his thoughts, mostly about sports, liberally spiced with his dry sense of humour and his love of the city.
"He was a Winnipeg booster and a lover of Winnipeg and that’s what I’m trying to be," Nystrom-Smith said over the phone. "Social media is how I got to know about him. He was... like ‘Winnipeg is the way it is and we love that about it.’"
She said Turner’s fans would have expected nothing less than the bookseller’s memorial display. "There was the expectation that there would be, should be, a tribute," she said. "That they’re doing this is a nice way to keep it going," she said. It’s the same reason she ordered the books set aside for her before the display went up, she said.
Updated on Monday, March 18, 2019 at 11:06 AM CDT: Typo fixed.
12:52 PM: Typos fixed.
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