By Fred Wallace
I was talking this week about the Heritage Fair at Grey Roots Museum & Archives where Elementary School students displayed their projects spotlighting various aspects of life & history in our region, province, country & beyond.
As mentioned, the act of participation in my eyes was every bit as meaningful as being adjudicated as a category winner.
As I was judging the event, I was reminded of my elementary school days and the 1974 Region 4 Public Speaking Contest.
As you can imagine, a 13 year old Fred Wallace was bursting with confidence that his speech about Major League Baseball star Reggie Jackson of the Oakland A's was surely going to be the winning entry.
Reggie won at Huron Park Public.......certainly Reggie was good enough to win the Regional competition which was staged at Corpus Christi in Penetanguishene.
But on the night of the competition, Reggie had BIG competition from Kathleen Daniels whose speech was about the oboe.
- It should be noted that Kathleen Daniels was a student at Corpus Christi and thus the oboe was competing on home turf.
- It should be noted that Kathleen Daniels was the daughter of Principal Daniels of Corpus Christi.
- It should be noted that the evening commenced with O'Canada, NOT sung, but PERFORMED by Kathleen Daniels on her precious oboe.
- The intermission entertainment was....Kathleen Daniels playing the bloody oboe.
And at the end of the night, the 1974 Simcoe County Region 4 Public Speaking Champion was Kathleen Daniels & her darling oboe.
Almost 45 years later, being honest, I'll admit Kathleen Daniels was the best speaker that night and truly deserved to win. However, the sequence of events, all these years later, confirms my belief then & now that Reggie Jackson NEVER had a chance against the [CLIP] oboe.