I have several interesting personal anecdotes about my run-ins with Suzuki, but one stands out.
Way back when I was a young reporter at The Province newspaper in Vancouver — some 30 years ago now — I was assigned to cover an event held in the Stein Valley of B.C.’s Coast Mountains, designed to garner attention and prevent the logging of the pristine alpine wilderness.
I interviewed organizers, members of the public who were camping out at the multi-day festival, as well as country superstar John Denver and the zany Long John Baldry, among others. All were welcoming, gracious, kind and giving of their time.
I approached Suzuki, who was sitting alone in the stands. When I asked him if he’d be willing to speak with me, he snapped: “Not now!”
Silly me, but I took that to mean, “come back later.” So, a little later, when nothing was going on at all, I approached Suzuki again, and again he snapped, “Not now!”
Shortly before I had to get back on the helicopter to fly back to Vancouver to file my stories, I again approached Suzuki as sheepishly and gently as is humanly possible. Finally, he made his true intentions known: “F— off!” he barked loudly.
Full column: Calgary Sun