Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/8/2010 (4125 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Greg Glatz -- who co-hosts The Greg and Marlo Show on CJOB -- did something recently that made my day, even though the weekend talk show is broadcast in the evening.
That's because what he said arrived in an afternoon email.
"Thought I'd clue you in on our latest crazy idea," Greg started.
The idea, which only sounds strange, is to give the renewed Disraeli Freeway a new name: The Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
I don't know about you, but the idea makes me laugh. In a good way.
What's wrong with honouring two world-famous sons and doing it with a little fun and a touch of originality?
Greg said he pitched the idea to Mayor Sam Katz, who you'd think would be all over it, given that he's a former entertainment promoter.
Actually, according to Greg, the mayor said it was a great idea. But then he told Greg he wanted to see a petition.
"So I started one," he wrote.
But only after he got the blessing of Randy Bachman and Fred Turner.
They've been gathering names online at CJOB's website ever since, in case you'd care to sign the petition.
But this zeal to find a way to honour someone who's important to Winnipeg's sense of self reminded me once more of how important that is.
And of something I've been meaning to write.
It's long bothered me that former Bomber receiver Milt Stegall -- who never intended to live here when his playing days were over -- has a Winnipeg street named in his honour, while former Bomber quarterback Ken Ploen, who stayed here, doesn't.
It's not that Milt doesn't deserve the honour. It's that Ken -- who quarterbacked the Bombers to three Grey Cup victories and was voted by fans as the outstanding CFL player of the 1960s -- should have been honoured long ago.
As CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon said last year: "He's remembered by CFL fans as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, and one of those imports who found something bigger than stardom: a home."
So how can Winnipeg honour him?
Well, what I'd like to see is a street named after my boyhood football idol.
And maybe we could have some fun with it, too. With the new Richardson International Airport close to opening we could give the meaningless Wellington Avenue some meaning by renaming it after the Bomber who piloted Winnipeg during the Bud Grant glory era.
Renaming the street that leads to the airport Ken Ploen Way would be a phonetically fun way to do it. Or, more conventionally, with a new Bomber stadium being promised, the city could rename Bison Drive in Ploen's honour.
What all of this reminds me of is another suggestion I made a couple of years ago that someone actually listened to and did something about.
The idea was inspired by Bob Dylan's pilgrimage to the Grosvenor Avenue house where Neil Young lived while he attended Kelvin High School. I wanted the city's tourism promoters to place a plaque outside Young's former home and the houses where other famous Winnipeggers once lived.
Last Christmas, when I chanced to meet Harry Duckworth at a party, the president of the Manitoba Historical Society said they were going to be doing what I suggested.
So it was that last May the historic society, in conjunction with the sponsoring Manitoba Real Estate Association, announced that, starting this summer, they would be placing 10 plaques outside the homes of famous Manitobans.
Only three of the suitably distinguished looking blue, oval signs have been posted so far.
One is outside 97 Craig St., where women's suffrage leader Nellie McClung lived prior to the First World War, another at 30 Deer Lodge Place, the residence of Group of Seven painter Lemoine Fitzgerald, and one more at 279 Provencher Blvd., the home of Alma Laurendeau, (aka Marie-Joseph du Sacre-Coeur, the founder of the Oblate Missionary Sisters.)
But what about the sign outside Neil Young's house? Well, actually, there is no sign and they're not planning to place one any time soon, either.
Turns out that while Dylan's visit to Young's former house may have inspired the historic society's joint project with the realtors, Neil's home doesn't qualify because he's still alive.
That's right, in the historic society's view, famous Manitobans have to be dead before they get a sign. Let's hope the city doesn't wait that long to put up a street sign to Ken Ploen.
It would be nice if the great quarterback could see it before he passes forever.