|Jim Morrison, My Journey|
Norman, Llloyd, James (Jim) Morrison, Born Sept 13, 1943 passed away peacefully on September 23rd, 2023. His life journey, was written by him 4 years ago for his high school reunion, class of 1959, West Vancouver High.
Musings & Journey update, written by Jim in 2022, has also been added to this Tribute
Okay - I have been delinquent in submitting this in a timely manner. What else is new? Here is my "journey" ... hopefully the quick version. My story is quite different from the ones I have seen from my distinguished former classmates, somewhat to my embarrassment.
I went from Grade 13 straight to UBC, but quickly discovered the "UBC Radio Society" in the south basement of Brock Hall. Oops. After a couple of years in engineering I realized I really wanted to be ... wait for it ... a radio deejay.
So I dropped out of UBC and scored a gig as a summer relief technician at CBC radio in the Hotel Vancouver - I followed that as a tech at CBC-TV when John Palmer’s dad was Director of Television, but that’s another story - and learned everything I could. It worked and I was hired at CKWX to go on air alongside the Vancouver radio idols I grew up listening to. I truly lived the life of my dreams through the 1960s. (Aside ... I went back to UBC and got a B.Sc. degree while I was playing records on the radio - just because.)
As well as spinning records and reading commercials, I produced and hosted a national radio newsmagazine show, talk shows, CBC science programs, Vancouver Mountie baseball broadcasts (with the legendary Jim Robson), was commercial production manager at CKLG-73 "Boss Radio", news editor at CKWX and then again a deejay at WX, which became "Super Country" (thanks, Red Robinson, for the name). I met a lot of performers and subsequently produced several record albums, including "The Ecstasy of Rita Joe", with Ann Mortifee, Chief Dan George and Paul Horn.
In 1975 I accepted an attractive offer to host the CBC-TV evening news in Calgary and my lady, Karen, and I moved across the mountains. It was very interesting to be a newcomer in Calgary and yet be recognized (and accommodated) everywhere I went. Moving on up, I became a CBC-TV producer in News and Public Affairs. But the CBC budget cuts came (yet, again) and I bailed from the Mother Corp to build a pioneer video production company in Calgary during the huge petroleum boom in the late 1970s. Most of our business was corporate video productions for big oil companies. My crew and I got to take our cameras where most people never get to go, like the Beaufort Sea, Baffin Island, Melville Island and Edmonton . Brrrrr....
We moved back to Vancouver in 1979 and I commuted to Calgary for 3 more years. Then came Trudeau's NEP and it was all over. Goodbye Alberta ... hello Vancouver and CJAZ-FM. My last live radio gig was the morning show in the mid-80s at the fabulous CJAZ, CKWX's new FM station, which too soon became bland KISS-FM right before my ears. It was a loser, not a pretty sight. Karen and I built a house on the Capilano River in North Van and were married in 1987, but got unmarried about 11 years later without kids and on good terms.
I continued my video production business in Vancouver, producing corporate video programs for big companies and TV commercials for CBC and KVOS clients. Over time, corporate video distribution moved from VHS to DVD to online, and I still design and maintain websites and produce videos for a few clients.
I bought an Austin-Healey in the early 1970s and the beautiful little English sportscar actually changed our lives. I have been going to Austin-Healey events for about 35 years and have British car friends all up and down the west coast and around the world. We got to know well the actual Healeys who created the car. They all grew up and lived in the small town of Perranporth, in Cornwall, UK – Donald Mitchell Healey, the patriarch known affectionally as DMH, who came to our Austin-Healey Expo 86 Meet in Whistler, and his three sons and their wives who visited us often in North America.
I didn't travel like many people did before or after university - I was in a hurry to get on with it. But I have been with my current partner Elaine since 1999 and we've recently been catching up on some traveling, mostly around Europe - England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, France, Holland. For many years now we've been spending Januarys in Maui and March(es?) in Palm Desert. Of course, Vancouver is too nice to leave in the summer. Elaine and I were avid tennis players at the West Van Tennis Club until my knees and her shoulders sidelined us for a while. We're working on getting back on the courts soon.
I joined the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society a couple of years ago, and have become quite active in its operation. We drive cancer patients who otherwise could not get to and from their treatments and medical appointments (volunteercancerdrivers.ca). The wonderful people I drive every week are a constant reminder of my good fortune and of its fragility.
So ... I am now cruising toward a highly anticipated reunion with my fellow classmates, almost all of whom I have not seen since 1960 and the end of Grade 13. What a special opportunity we had. What amazing teachers. (What successful classmates!) How blessed we were.
My goal? To live forever. So far, so good.