When I arrived early in the morning of June 19th, 2004 to Boyd Conservation Area, south of Kleinburg, it was a very cool and cloudy day. I wasn't too happy about that, and the fact that I couldn't find the electrical outlet on our picnic site had me doubly concerned.
Sure enough though, I did find the outlet and began to hook up my sound system. One-by-one the fans started to show up.
It was a real pleasure to finally get to meet them all- some of whom I had been chatting with since the beginning of my web page back in 2000.
Mike MacDonald (our 2nd emcee) was the first to show up; followed by: Gerry Neilands (a topo map and backwoods expert); Chris Charland (who recently found Charlie Appleby's plane out in Manitoba); Mike Del Rizzo (a fan actually younger than I, from nearby Maple, who did all of our awesome artwork); Chris Boyer (who brought the podium and RCMP sign); RJ Falconi (who made up ranger t-shirts for us to buy); Thomas Lisicar (a great fan from Orangeville); Yvonne D'Souza (a fan who started watching the show in her retirement years and who wrote to TV Talkback in the Toronto Star looking for an answer to a question about the show); Robert and Mary Lee Eno (from Nunuvut and who are the world's second biggest fans of the show), Glenn Wellspring (who used to know George Allan and who tried to help me track him down- to no avail); the Stewart clan (who used to sit around the dinner table and do the XNY 556 "A" for "Apple" radio call); the Menard brothers (who were junior rangers themselves when they watched the show up in Kapuskasing); Dale Tober (who flew in all the way from B.C.); David Gibb (a fan who once had to use Ralph Endersby as an eyewitness to an accident); and the list goes on.
The show started at noon when all the rest of the fans showed up. Our emcee, Eric Shapiro, started with his introduction speech (see link above).
During his speech I proceeded back up the hill to Boyd's gatehouse to personally welcome and meet the cast and crew, who were all together in the upper parking lot. Talk about a "thrill of a lifetime!" Can you imagine how I felt driving up towards them? When I first met eyes with them the first person I caught sight of was good ol' Ralph Endersby. As I got out of my car Rex Hagon walked towards me and welcomed me with a handshake. I got to chat with each of them briefly. But time was of the essence.
We all hopped into our cars and they followed me down to our picnic site. When we each got out of our vehicles and walked towards the fans they all came towards us with cameras in hand. There is one shot that was taken in the photo below.
You can tell how good the cast felt to be back in the spotlight again after four decades. The fans were smiling from ear-to-ear as well.
* As it turned out, our little reunion was also newsworthy enough for The Toronto Sun (see below).