howtheduck (howtheduck) wrote in binky_betsy,

Atlin Chalk Talks

Lynn Johnston finally made it back to Atlin and this time it wasn’t about her being bored because she did not get enough attention when Paul Lucas played the Atlin Arts and Music Festival (see link):

This time Lynn got to do a chalk talk, so it is much more like her visit to Whitehorse, where she got lots of attention (see link):

As usual, I will quote the text and then comment after the cut:

The last week of August saw me heading north. I had agreed to do a “chalk talk” at the tiny Globe theatre in Atlin, BC – just south of the Yukon border. The flight to Whitehorse on Air North was pleasant as always – one of the few airlines which treats passengers with courtesy and appreciation. There is no charge for checked luggage, you get a nice lunch and at the end of the trip, they bring you a warm chocolate chip cookie! I always sit in a window seat. The scenery along the B.C. coast is spectacular and must be seen from above if possible.

“Fly Air North,” says Lynn Johnston.  The Air North website does confirm a free meal and no baggage fees, which sounds pretty good to me too.

Forest fires were raging again, and the result could be seen from 30 thousand feet above the ground. I took some pictures to show that smoke filled the valleys. It came up to the mountain crests. No wonder people were evacuating to safer and clearer areas; the air was bad. Paul (my partner) picked me up at the airport. It was a cool, clear day and compared to the dry heat of the city, it felt like fall.

Lynn is not kidding here.  Look at this map of the BC forest fires and you can see the province is covered in them from Vancouver to its Northwest corner where Atlin is located.

After a fast trip to Skagway to see friends, we returned to Atlin and Paul’s tiny log cabin. It’s a cozy space nestled in the woods. He built it by hand when he was in his 20s and he says the land is in his DNA.

It used to be “the land is in his blood”, but we have modernized.

I love being back in the north. When I was a kid and just leaving home, I wanted to stay in the city, be an animator or go into advertising.

When Lynn says, “When I was a kid” she means when she was in her 20s. 

Like all city kids, I thought the north and the prairies were off the map; no place for me.

Considering the adventures of Lynn’s Aunt Unity wandering around the north and the prairies in her 20s, I don’t know why Lynn had that idea.

Later, when fate took my family and me to Lynn Lake Manitoba, I changed. Small towns connect you to what’s real; what’s important. You learn to do without, to create your own entertainment, to be resourceful and to depend on your friends and family.

Oh, it was fate that did that?   Only if it was fate to marry a guy whose home town was Lynn Lake.  And really there was a lot more that went into that than fate.  It is so funny to read this stuff now, where she seems to be trying to convince both herself (and maybe Paul Lucas).  What happened to “Lynn Lake, the land of adulterers” from her 2008 Maclean’s interview that she hated and couldn’t wait to move away from. 

Come on Paul Lucas.  Lynn says she will love it in Atlin, if you can just move from “partner” status to “husband” status.  She clearly wants you to put a ring on it.

Atlin is one of these special places and it comes with scenery too beautiful to photograph. Maybe that’s why so many talented artists choose to live there.

“scenery too beautiful to photograph”?  Is that a thing?  So why all the pictures, Lynn?

The Globe theatre, on Atlin’s main drag, was built during the Gold Rush. It has been beautifully restored and seats about 100 people. Heather, the Globe’s young and enterprising operator, had arranged a number of fundraisers in order to pay for the boiler which has to be repaired before the long winter sets in.

Thanks to the Globe Theatre’s Facebook page we can see that there was actually a:

JUL 27 Fundraiser - Theatre Heating System Public · Hosted by Atlin BC Globe Theatre

FUNDRAISER for the Globe Theatre Heating System
We need to repair the boiler system to make it operational before winter

So, it did happen.  However, Lynn’s show was advertised this way:

Doors Open 7:30 Talk Starts 8:00
Door, Coffee & Tea Service by Donation
Evening proceeds go towards a new theatre projector

Paul and I were the last of the “shows” and 23 people showed up.

No, Lynn.  Wrong again.  Thanks to the Facebook page we can see they have events all the time at the Globe with 2 events scheduled in September

It was like a reunion as everyone knew everyone else.  Heather set the heater in the middle of the aisle to heat the place up a bit, then put on the coffee and the popcorn. She had also made Rice Krispie squares.

Heather Keny, artistic producer at Atlin's Globe Theatre.

We had an hour and a half to perform, as there was a baseball game on as well – an inter-community game which was a serious draw! Paul “opened” for me, with a few numbers on his guitar. He is a local favourite and I asked him to play something he’d never played for an audience before. I figured – if he’d roped me into this, I was going to give him a challenge in return! He played some fine original tunes – which I had only heard in part.

I guess we are supposed to get the impression that Paul and Lynn are so close that Paul played for the audience tunes that only Lynn had heard before, but when Lynn heard them, she only heard part of them.  This was because:

1.  Paul didn’t want to play the whole tune for Lynn.

2.  Lynn didn’t have the patience to sit down and listen to the whole tune.

3.  Lynn thinks she is writing something that indicates she has a special relationship with Paul that no one else has, but she can’t write well enough for it to make any sense.

I really like the idea that Lynn Johnston was “roped into” doing a chalk talk at this little theatre in Atlin that is accustomed to live music and movies.  Sorry, Lynn, but we remember your complaints during your last visit to Atlin and your presentation when you visited Paul in Whitehorse.   Paul Lucas has apparently learned about your obsessive need for attention and found a venue for you.  However, there is no interference from a baseball game, because it was not going to happen until the next day.

Here’s the Facebook version of the story:

Things to do and see this Labour Day Long Weekend:

Atlin will be bustling with entertainment on this Labour Day Long Weekend.

Enjoy a beautiful drive down our fully paved, well maintained, scenic road.......

Lots of camping and full amenity accommodations available_ accomodations recommended to book ahead, we also have a variety of places to eat and grocery shop.

Friday Evening:
The BBQ will be on the patio of The Atlin Recreation Centre_Shish Kabobs.
You will have time to eat and then join us for Lynn Johnston Chalk Talk_A Comic Take on the Comics

Baseball Tournament and concession at Tarahne Park

As for Paul Lucas being a local favorite, I should mention that he had an event at the same location just 3 weeks prior.

Atlin BC Globe Theatre

Paul Lucas & Daniel Janke in “The devil may care, Men about town band”

Friday August 10, 2018
Doors Open 6:30 Concert Starts 7:00
Coffee & Tea Service Available by Donation

This shows the board in front of the Atlin Gas station, advertising the show. I told Heather that what I did was called a “chalk talk” and wondered how many folks would know what that meant! Not many, I’m sure – but there it was!

The people in Atlin might have been confused when they didn’t see any chalk.  It’s either that or Heather was confused that Lynn would think people in Atlin would not understand what a chalk talk was.

The chalk talk always goes well and is never the same twice. I talk about the things that go into a cartoonist’s mental rolodex: childhood memories, personal truths and lifetime adventures I want to share. I draw while I talk, using an overhead projector – a machine which is becoming harder and harder to find! I have always loved to watch my cartoonist friends draw. It’s a magical experience. With this in mind, I use the projector to illustrate my talks and it has become more than a tool, it’s kind of a “Dumbo’s Feather”. I need it to hide behind and give me the confidence I need to do public speaking! I’m still an amateur. I have learned that stand up comedy is the hardest job in the world and I’m awed by the people who do it well!

I am not sure Lynn's understands the purpose of Dumbo's feather.

I have seen videos of Lynn’s chalk talk and it seems to be pretty much the same thing every time.  She gets transparencies on an overhead projector and does her business of drawing a featureless head and facial expressions that she moves around to make different emotions.  Then she draws a picture of her ex-husband Doug and talks about he was hairy (and a cheater).  Then she draws a few pictures of old For Better or For Worse characters and talks about the early days of the comic strip.  It is, by the way, nothing like stand up comedy.  It is like a chalk talk.

After the talk and some more visiting, Paul and I left the Yukon and began the long drive home. Every year, he likes to bring his truck back to Tsawassen where he has a cottage. I have begun to look forward to this four-day journey – for the scenery and for the experience. I love a good road trip!

Paul Lucas has a cottage in Tsawassen (Tsawwassen).  That explains where he stays when he visits Lynn in the Vancouver area and it also tells me that Paul Lucas is one of these multiple home guys with his DNA in a lot of places.  Tsawwassen is a 24 hour drive over rough terrain from Atlin.  I guess Paul Lucas broke that down into 4 days of 6 hours driving. 

There were fewer fires. Firefighters and some much-needed rain had lessened the threat and the smoke had dissipated. We were able to see the great walls of rock, vast mountain meadows and deep winding gorges of B.C’s interior highways. We listened to “books on tape” and enjoyed staying in out-of-the-way hotels and cabins. I didn’t want the trip to end.

I can understand that.  Time with Paul in the truck is not time spent in the basement of her daughter’s house.  I like the way Lynn puts parentheses around “books on tape” as if to let us know it was really “books on CD.”


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  • Wednesday, 28 September 2022

    The one where the reporter does most of Mike's talking for him. Synopsis: See Clint Whiffle of CBV News. See him tell Michael what his opinion and…

  • Tuesday, 27 September 2022

    The one where John is unpleasantly surprised by the fact that Mike is the loudest protestor. Panel 1: We find ourselves watching a news story about…

  • Monday, 26 September 2022

    The one where tempts fate because the message of this stupid arc is that kids need 'good' leaders. Synopsis: We contrast John's not really digging…