Try the Island – Pt. 2

(Note: For part one of this story, click here.)

On July 4th, the first day back to work after the Canada Day long weekend, I got up at 6am to head down to the CBC building for the 7:20 segment on the Metro Morning Summer Bucket List.

I’d spent some time over the weekend thinking of what it would be like to be in the studio with Matt Galloway, and what I was going to say. I’d checked the #mmsummerbucketlist hashtag to see what the other person invited on to the segment was going to be talking about, and discovered that Julia’s choice for place-you’ve-always-meant-to-go-but-haven’t-been was the Toronto Archives (located at Spadina and Davenport-ish). Reading this didn’t help my nerves. She seemed to have a better argument than mine for why she wanted to go to her place, what she’d do when she got there, and why she hadn’t yet been. A better argument, at least, than “I hear the island’s cool! Never been tho.” But I figured that I at least had a few good anecdotes, and that I’d be able to talk for a few minutes and make it somewhat interesting. So off I went on my bike to John and Wellington.

I arrived in good time, and after a bit of wandering around the maze that is the CBC building, managed to find my way up to the Metro Morning studio. I was met by a producer and brought into the green room, where we waited for our segment.

Seeing how a major radio program operates was one of the coolest parts of the experience. At the University of Guelph, I’d been on my friend Alan Sovran’s radio show several times (Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast, represent!). That show was a one-man operation, with Alan doing everything from manning the dials, to playing the tunes, reading the promotional materials, giving the weather, etc. It was always tons of fun being on with Al, but Metro Morning was a few next levels beyond humble ol’ CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph.

There were multiple producers, at least 2 people in the booth, and tons of other people around that I imagine worked to support the show in whatever way a daily 3-hour fast-paced morning show requires. The most surprising thing, to me, had to do with the woman giving the traffic updates. Our segment came right after a traffic report, and as we were quietly shuffling into Matt’s studio to take our seats, the traffic reporter was right there. She wasn’t in a separate studio, or reporting from somewhere offsite. She was sitting across from Matt, with a laptop open with a very complex-looking traffic app open, reading the traffic report off of a piece of paper with hand-written notes. I never would have thought that’s how the traffic was done.

So! The traffic report wrapped up (it was pretty quick, it was only 7:30am on the first day back from a summer long weekend) and then it was just Julia, myself, and the great Matt Galloway.

There was no time for introductions. Matt had a sheet of paper in front of him that clearly had notes about both of us from his producers, and he was off. We discussed our places and I gave him my anecdotes, and before I knew it Matt was asking me the key question: “So, when are you going to go to the island?”. After a brief hesitation where I mumbled something about maaaybe going in the next couple weeks, I asserted that before the end of August, I would visit Toronto Island. And with that, we were out of the studio and Matt was already talking to the next guest.

Check in tomorrow for the conclusion of my trip, where I commit to following through on my Metro Morning promise.

This post is the second installment in my project, “500 in 28”. For the next 28 days, I’ll be spending 28 minutes a day writing 500 words. See here for my full rationale.

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