Nov 30, 2013


view large version of this by clicking on pix
Winter's Arrival

Winter's first blast has arrived in most areas our Scribbles pals live in and some more so than others. When we checked out facebook every other post included photos of snow, snow and more snow and every other post also included varying comments.

Some referred to it as a Winter Wonderland, others called it a big mess and still others had more choice words to describe the blanket of white they found outside their doors Wednesday.

There were many awesome pix out there, but these two were our favourites. Partially because they are pix taken around Morningstar Mills at Decew Falls, a place we love to visit. The other reason we like these photos so much is because they were taken by our long time pal Mark Chrisp.

Great photos Mark, thanks for letting us share them on Scribbles.

Nov 26, 2013


Dapper at Dusk

We haven't seen many pix of our UK mate Kieran Farragher in Scribbles lately, but that certainly doesn't mean we don't think of him often nor does it mean the dapper chap hasn't been up to much.

Kieran added this pix to his facebook page recently and we really fell in love with it.

"It was taken on Brighton Pier at dusk this past Saturday eve", Kieran told Scribbles, when we asked if we could post it to our site. 

And while Kieran might joke and say it was because it was dusk and getting dark, we can't help but feel he just seems to get better looking every year.


Nov 21, 2013

In Memoriam

Journey back to St Patrick’s Day 1991 and step inside Gustos Lounge, for their ‘Over the Rainbow’ show. Hosted by Johnathon Crawford as the incomparable Mariah, sample the magic of an era we will always remember with great fondness.

The video quality is far from perfect. It was re-recorded from a video tape by pointing my iphone at my old-school tube-style TV while playing the tape. As such, there are portions that don’t quite occupy the full screen area and the “occasional” audio issue that sounds somewhat like a fireplace crackling in the background. Please bear with it. This 16 minute vintage footage contains some very enchanting and racy performances and is Scribbles way of honouring and saying goodbye to a very special friend.

JOHNATHON CRAWFORD  |  JUL. 22, 1962 - NOV. 19, 2013
The Final Curtain

Although my contact with Johnathon Crawford had been reduced to facebook messages over the past few years, the memories of days gone by are as vivid as though they were yesterday.

I first met Johnathon when I was a bartender at Gustos Lounge. As Niagara's only LGBT club, it was the place to be and for many reasons. You could come during the week to shoot pool or join in the weekly euchre tournaments, put your dancing shoes on and groove to the sounds of the weekend DJ's and probably most memorable, you could try to squeeze your way into a building filled beyond capacity to take in live plays, drag shows and fundraisers.

That's where Johnathon came into the picture. A  shoe salesman by day, Johnathon was part of a elite group of talents who performed on Gustos stage at night, much to the delight of the cheering crowds.

Sometimes he was Johnathon Crawford, singing live or hosting a fundraiser or themed event. Other times he was Mariah - flawless in appearance - but quick to point out, despite taunting, 'Flawless' was not part of Mariah's pseudonym.

Foreign to most clubs, Gustos was also known for live stage productions. Johnathon landed a plum role in 'Murder in the Magnolias' and was make-up artist "extraordinaire" for the bar's most elaborate production 'The Rocky Horror Show' which was directed by someone named Darryl Bell (who struck an uncanny resemblance to Chris Snow.)

Oh the laughs we shared when I would watch Johnathon and our band of heroes in rehearsals or when I'd get up the nerve to join them on stage in some minor role.

Johnathon's laugh was infectious and he wore his passion for his art on his sleeve, always willing to help others master their craft.

Of course, Gustos was only one of the places Niagara would get to enjoy Mr Crawford's talents. He worked with Garden City Productions (GCP), with one of his favourite plays being Sugar Babies.

In an interview in the early 90's with Scribbles sister publication Gustos Grapevine, Johnathon admitted he liked to see everyone on stage do well, a trait he felt made him not quite competitive enough for the acting business.

Johnathon left Niagara several years ago where he continued to make new friends and find someone special to share life's adventures with.

Sadly his battle with cancer ended on November 19th, leaving shock waves across Ontario and beyond as many recall the amazingly gifted and genuine friend they have lost.

In his interview with us over two decades ago, Johnathon Crawford concluded with this statement:  "Don't sit in the background complaining that something should be done. Get your buns up front and do something for your community and you".  

Wise words from a man who subscribed to that philosophy and who will always be remembered with great fondness and admiration.

Rest in peace Johnathon.


Visit Scribbles Photo Album Remembering Johnathon -Click Here

Chrissy Snow Recalls Johnathon Crawford (His "Mama")

 So, one my dear old friends has made his way to a bigger & better stage. Johnathon Crawford (my Mama) lost his battle to cancer. My first meeting of Mama was years and years ago - he was tending bar at some little dive in St. Catharines, down in a basement as I recall. It was very casual, my friend said "This is our bartender, Johnathon, say hello." (I was fresh & new back then lol) Funny how sometimes a moment like that sticks with you.

But that's the way my Mama was, a true "Presence" that stayed with you always. Several years later I ended up at Gustos Lounge, and there was a Drag Show going on. "Please welcome to the stage, Mariah !!" And WOW, what an amazing performance. I'll never forget watching Mariah do toe spins, the splits, and an impeccable lip sync to "Miss Otis Regrets". 

Right then and there I knew that all my secret bedroom singing to Barbra Streisand had now led to this moment. Soon after, we became friends and realized we had a common love and passion for music, the theatre and arts. 

He introduced me to all his friends - Dale Betts, Virginia Marie Eckert, Ken Leavoy, my Ex, Michael, Rhonda Richards, Faron Gough and a countless slew of raggabaggers LOL. 

Those were the best days of my life back then. And, as was Johnathon's nature, he Mothered us all. He introduced me to Drag, did my makeup (for a long time), dressed me, lent me his wigs and jewelry. In fact, it wasn't till a few years later at one of my annual Christmas part's in Dunnville, where he "accidentally" shaved off my eyebrow that I finally decided I needed to learn to do my own makeup. He taught me that as well.

I was lucky enough to see Mama several weeks ago, a chance visit in his hospital room. It was like old times. We were able to tell each other how much we loved each other, had big hugs, and caught up on lives. How lucky I was to be able to have that moment. I even helped him put in his eye drops - cause that's how well we blended together, like no time had passed LOL.

So to you Mama - Thank You - for letting me be a part of your wonderful life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Dennis, and friends and family.

Chrissy Snow

Express Your Condolences, Memories of Johnathon and Thoughts about our Tribute & Vintage Video in 'Comments' section below...

Nov 20, 2013


The Imperial Sovereign Court of St Catharines held their annual Coronation Ball weekend, Nov. 16- 18 at  Four Points Sheridan in Thorold,

Congratulations to Emperor 11 Davie Nite and Regent Empress 11 Katana Tlc (above left) who begin their one year reign.  Congrats also go to Empress 10 Shada Black and Emperor 10 Twice A Nite (above right) who are now considered "wuzzies" as they have completed their year representing the Court and can now kick back and relax.

Nov 19, 2013


Becky with Birthday bulldog outside of Convergent Telecom [building pix courtesy Google Earth]

When our friend Becky Lee pulled into the parking lot at work and saw a huge novelty bulldog wearing a sign proclaiming "Nifty, Nifty, Beckster is 50", little did she know that this was to be only the first big surprise of the day.

When she walked into the office, she found her desk was surrounded by shiny balloons, colourful streamers, gifts and beautiful bouquets of flowers. "WOW! Wasn't this nice of my colleagues to do", Becky must have thought, as she was greeted with birthday wishes.

Becky at her desk surrounded by birthday paraphernalia, Inset: Becky & I, Top Right: Lisa & Judy taking pix, Bottom Right: Bulldog outside of office
Becky was even more shocked when she rounded the corner and discovered the rest of the office was also decorated. "We're having a staff party at lunch" said manager Janet Miller, who -as the infamous "Queen of Orchestration"- had arranged the event.

Becky would later admit she thought there was an awful lot of food for the number of people on staff, however there was good reason for that. For it was not only the staff of Convergent Telecom who would be enjoying the food and refreshments come lunchtime, but many of Becky's friends, family and past workmates.

But a few of the "guests", L to R:  Janet (party coordinator) Robin, Rolland, Shannon, Gail, Susan, Lisa, Tyson
"JJ" (as in Janet, not my new kitten...LOL) had contacted everyone earlier in the week telling them of the hush hush party they would be having on Fri. Nov. 15, just a few days prior to Becky's actual 50th birthday.

I was thrilled to be invited and be a part of the big surprise. It was great to see the everyone, as I had once worked with many of these fabulous people and as a close friend of Becky's, I of course also know and adore her family.

Cole Whtye -photo from facebook
I barely recognized Becky's son Tyson, who was a mere child when I first met him and is now 24 years old and sporting a chinstrap beard. Becky's sister Susan and her friend Gail were on hand and we shared our displeasure about some recent plot twists on our favourite soap the Y&R.

Janet's daughter Robin Whyte, who now resides in New Brunswick with her husband Tim and their two young boys, was in town and attended the party. This meant I finally had a chance to meet her adorable son Cole, the little guy we featured in Scribbles "Father of the Year" video this Spring and who took 2nd place in our recent Halloween Costume Contest, wearing his Toronto Maple Leafs gear and sporting a faux black eye.

It was nice to say hello to my former boss Rolland Bissell and to get caught up with recently retired Judy Hummell. I enjoyed a chat with Lianne, who I discovered, like I, lives in Welland and kittens were the hot topic between Tanya and I.

Janet, your secret party was a hit and you really surprised Becky, as I'm certain she had no idea what was in store for her on this special day.

Although the party was in recognition of Becky turning the Big 5-0, the honour was indeed mine. It was so great to see everyone again and as Rollie would say "I luv u man".

Front of card I made Becky (I call her Grace -from Will & Grace- & I'm Jack, hence the pix here)


Keira Blythin smiles for media - screenshot from City TV video
Life at Home with the Tiniest Baby

Kiera & baby sister -photo courtesy The Standard
Our pals Ginger & Neil Blythin and family, once again find themselves in the spotlight as the local media caught up with the couple, now that "miracle baby" Rachel is home with her siblings.

Accompanying the article is a 3 minute video that follows Gingee around as she goes about her day carrying for twins Rachel and Evelyn, their sister Keira and big brother William, who just days ago turned 5.

Ginger, listening to your voice, seeing you showing the interviewer how you wash the feeding tube, reminded me so much to those days, just over 5 years ago when you her taking me through the Niagara Falls store, showing me how things were done and where things went. It was a bit surreal, but warmed my heart as well.

To read the Blythin's latest story and see the video click here.

Nov 18, 2013


Judging by the pix above, it seems fairly obvious Joan Storie's new cat Patches has adapted nicely to her new home.

Two year old Patches likes it when Joan (my mom) reclines in her favourite chair, as it gives her the purr-fect spot to relax, across mom's feet.


Rob's Mini Vacation

Having not seen his friend Alex Lucas Artiste for many years, Rob Dennis was excited to get to visit his pal for a few days.

Although he has some bus troubles, Rob eventually arrived in Ottawa where Alex was waiting to meet him. Alex lives in Gatineau, Quebec, which neighbours Ottawa, so getting to Alex's place from the nation's capital was a breeze.
View larger version -click on pix

Rob saw the Parliament Building in Ottawa, dined on world-famous poutine fries in Quebec and was a big kid in a candy store, when he and Alex checked out Sugar Mountain.

Believe it or not, Rob found a Mr Bill keychain at Sugar Mountain candy store. Mr who you ask? Mr Bill!  He was a big hit on Saturday Night Live back in its early years. (search Mr Bill on You Tube sometime and you'll know exactly who this character was and the various ways he was tortured...."OH NO!")

They also checked out a bar and Ottawa's Flea Market before Rob has to return home. I was happy to help out by driving Rob to and from the bus terminal in St Catharines and if I had known a gigantic candy store was going to be part of the tour, I might just have sneaked onto the bus and joined them...LOL.

Glad you had fun Rob, you deserved a little time away.


Daisy Rocks It!

Oh the things we do with our beloved pets. Here we see Christine Mantej's precious girl Daisy Duke as she poses on a rocking horse (well, actually, it's a rocking moose.)

It's hard to tell by these pix if Miss Daisy is enjoying her ride or just going posing for pix and to get it over with. Either way it's pretty darn cute.


He Shoots! He Scores!

Now that our Costume Contest is over, we can share this pix of our little buddy Cole and his dad Tim decked out in their Leafs gear and showing great enthusiasm for their team.

This pix was taken at the same time as the one of Cole that was featured in our Costume Contest, so to keep things fair, we held off on posting it until now.

I know for a fact we have fans of other NHL teams amongst our Scribbles gang. There's Habs fans, Sens fans, Sabres fans and even a few Black Hawks followers. So they might not be overly thrilled to see the boys in blue above.

To show Scribbles is impartial and plays a clean game, we welcome you to send pix of you, you kids, your pets or friends wearing your favourite team's jerseys. We'd be happy to post them on Scribbles.

Nov 17, 2013


 Visit David's Website CLICK HERE

Nov 14, 2013

Scribbles Video

We're a bit late in getting this one completed. Here's a new Scribbles Video celebrating my nephew Graham's 8th Birthday (way back on Oct. 20th).

Check out the cool game I created for Graham as one of his gifts. When you have very little money but lots of imagination and creativity, you can really come up with some very unique one-of-a-kind presents. 

You might notice that the birthday boy is sporting a shiner. No, you need not call FACS, Graham bumped into something a few hours before the party, providing him with an unwanted present of a black eye.

Enjoy (and to my sister Jane, sorry it is a bit late in arriving...but I think once you see it, you will agree, it was worth the wait)


From relatives and co-workers to friends near or far
We love Megan Fox...our very own Superstar!

Happy Birthday!


Has the Love Affair Ended Between Jovi & Jody?

Our friend Jody Edwards of Toronto is as mad about Jon Bon Jovi as I am about Tim McGraw (actually she's a much bigger "fan"-natic, she has Bon Jovi tattooed on her thigh, there's no signs of Tim McGraw on my body (and we'll stop that conversation RIGHT there....LOL)

Jody told Scribbles "We had 5th row floor but first row at the catwalk as you can see from the video and some pics...about 2 feet away from me:)"

A disheartened Jody continued, "Unfortunately Richie is no longer part of Bon Jovi which is soooo wrong!!!...his replacement Phil X is from Toronto and amazing, but not the same after 30 years."

"My fav part of the night, besides when Jon was close enough to touch, was when he and the keyboardist Dave Bryan were joking around and singing Great Balls of Fire...that was fun! "

"Oh, and this was my 34th Bon Jovi concert". YEP, She's got me beat by leaps ans bounds!

Nov 13, 2013


Cutie pattootie Emerson Rose enjoys some reading and playtime with mommy Mandy, in these latest pix of Scribbles favourite baby.

In Memoriam

Our condolences to Davie Nite and his partner Faron Gough on the loss of their canine companion Chloe. 

On his facebook page Davie wrote  "Today I said good-by to my best friend my little girl and my confidante Chloe I miss you more than you can imagine you take a big piece of my heart with you. Love you forever baby".

Davie, I cannot think of one Scribbles reader who doesn't relate to the loss you are feeling. Our furry friends are far more than just a pet, they are our family, someone who we share our deepest feelings with, knowing they are non-judgmental and love us unconditionally. 

Treasure the precious memories you have of your little girl, Davie and know that your Scribbles friends thoughts and condolences are with you.


"Mo Bro" Jonny on the Importance of Movember


Mini 'Movember' Supporter

You are never too young to acknowledge the importance of 'Movember' as our little friend Campbell Whtye demonstrates here.  A special thank you to Campbell's mom Robin, for allowing Scribbles to share this adorable pix.
  Get involved with 'Movember' -find out more by CLICKING HERE.

Nov 11, 2013

Contest Winners

With 21 costumes ranging from incredibly cute to downright creepy, voting for your favourite in our Annual Halloween Costume Contest was no easy task.  To vote, you had to be on Scribbles mailing list or Ken's facebook page and if you had entered our contest, you were also allowed to vote for your own pix.

Entering photos of themselves or their children this year were: Kitsa Statti, Pedro Rengel, Kylie King, Virginia (Ginny) Eckert, Robin Whyte, Jane Storie, Mandy Dick, Steve Sauder, Sandra Burger-Vedder, Becky King, Merry Christine, Sally Vince, Sharon Janzen-King, Rhonda Janzen-King, Eric Gainer, Tammie Holditch, Amanda Bersgma, Falynn Shaw, Sasha Vince, Kerri Thomson-Fortier and Melisa Sider. We thank all of you for participating in Scribbles most-popular contest of the year.

 Your votes were tallied up by the fictitious accounting firm of Fisher, Price,Waterhouse & Leavoy, then recounted by my dog Timmi and kitten JJ. It was then official, these were our winners.

Tied for 3rd place, creepy "wanna play?" sent in by Rhonda Janzen-King and Steve Sauders nasty looking face and head wounds (I hope you had that looked at buddy, it looks pretty serious....LOL)

Second place went to our little Toronto Maple Leafs player Cole Whyte (sent in by his mom Robin). We have fans of other NHL teams in our Scribbles group, so I'm thinking even if they loved the costume's concept, they just couldn't get beyond the Leafs gear.

First place went to Woody from Toy Story, sent in by Kylie King. Kylie will receive previously viewed DVD movies, The Panic Room, What Lies Beneath and The Breakup. Congratulations!

We had some suggestions regarding the nature of our contest and are pleased to announce that next year the voting will be divided into categories (something along the lines of best kids costume, most original costume, scariest costume, etc.)

This means more prizes and more winners and less struggling as to whether to go with cute or creepy as your top pick.

 Thanks once again to everyone who entered and everyone who took the time to cast their votes.


Dad and Kids Cover Depeche Mode

Colombian video artist Dicken Schrader and his kids, Milah and Korben, cover Depeche Mode’s Everything Counts on a xylophone, an old Yamaha keyboard and a bunch of homemade improvised instruments.

So cute and talented, thanks to Nancy Erskine who found this one and reposted to her facebook page.

Scribbles Video

Rich Hunt is "Scene" and Heard 

With everyone carrying camera phones these days, anybody can take a picture, anywhere, anytime. But our buddy Rich Hunt doesn't just take a picture, he manages to capture the very essence of the moment.

Having an artful eye to bring us the scenery around him is only one of Rich's many talents.

His day job finds him working with thingamajigs and whatchama callits at a local telecommunications company (which is where Scribbles first met him.)

He loves to surf, swim, hike and paddle wild and rapid rivers with his friends. Rich lives in Fort Erie with his active Huskys, Kya and Niko.

And as if all that weren't enough, Rich also writes music and sings.  WHEW! Talk about making the most out of every moment life has to offer.

Here's a new Scribbles Video which features photos of our amazing four seasons, as seen through Rich's eyes. Given the many astonishing pix found on his facebook page, narrowing down the selection was no easy task.

Backing the pix is an original song by Rich, one of many you will find by clicking here.

A treat for your eyes and ears.....Enjoy Scribbles video salute to Rich Hunt.


Nov 10, 2013

In Memoriam

Radio DJ 'Iron' Mike Bensson Dead at 60
ST. CATHARINES – For awhile, it looked like even cancer couldn’t put ‘Iron’ Mike Bensson down for the count.

After losing parts of his stomach and esophagus last summer during treatment, the Niagara rock radio fixture returned to his job at 97.7 HTZ-FM just six weeks later.

The cancer returned this summer, however, and Bensson finally succumbed Thurs. Nov. 7th.

“It’s been a really tough day,” said Bensson’s longtime friend, 97.7 program director Bruce Gilbert. “Mike started off like a caricature … larger than life. And over time, he just turned into our friend Mike.

“Years ago he was this abrasive, tough as nails kind of guy. And then he’s bringing in the tomatoes he’s growing in his garden.”

Tributes from shocked fans and listeners poured into the station all day, with some leaving flowers by the front door. Jeff Martin , lead singer of The Tea Party, also phoned with condolences. The Tea Party was one of many Canadian bands Bensson championed over the years, giving them crucial exposure on the iconic Yates St. station, dubbed the ‘Whitehouse of Rock.’

Born in Western New York, Bensson arrived at HTZ-FM in 1995 after the Buffalo station he worked at switched formats and fired the entire staff. He started with the afternoon ‘drive home’ shift, and immediately won over listeners with his gruff, politically incorrect style.

“If anything, he changed the way we did radio, I suppose,” recalls Gilbert. “Mike, in every sense of the word back then, was the ignorant, loud mouth American. He didn’t take no for an answer, he was loud and abrasive.

“(But) Mike always has this way of saying anything and getting away with it.”

Former HTZ-FM employee Corey Mottley says Bensson “opened his arms and heart” to him when he started in radio.

“So many fond memories that I hold with and of that man, from duct taping a mic to his hand to go on a ride at Canada’s Wonderland, to all the road trips together,” he said. “That man was a hero to me.”

Bensson did the morning show at 97.7 from 2004 to 2011 before returning to the afternoon shift. Along the way he worked closely with the Niagara Children’s Centre, oversaw the station’s annual Radiothon, and was active in the annual Walk a Mile In Her Shoes fundraiser to raise awareness of violence against women.

His sign-off in recent years was “Stay off the pipe and don’t forget to wipe.”

Bensson started feeling ill again over the summer. He left for vacation on July 26, and was unable to return to work. He turned 60 last month.

A benefit for Bensson’s wife Amy will be held at Buffalo’s Casa Di Pizza (477 Elmwood Ave.) Nov. 24 from 2 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $20.


Nov 8, 2013


A Tea for Everyone's Taste

I love the assortment of tea samples I recently received from our friend Karin Campbell-Gadd of Gaddzilla Teas. Karin was one of the winners in Scribbles 34th Anniversary contest and after her prizes arrived, she wanted to send me some teas as a thank you.

You can visit Gaddzilla Teas several ways.  CLICK HERE for their facebook page.  That's where you'll find lots of pix of the tea shop and many other interesting tidbits. Be sure to "like" their facebook page while you're there.

You could also visit Gaddzilla Teas website by CLICKING HERE. 

With over 150 fresh, aromatic, tasty teas to choose from, it's hard to pick a favourite and I'm enjoying discovering a new taste sensation every time I try one of my gift samples.

With Christmas around the corner, Gaddzilla Teas is an ideal place to shop for those special people on your list and the perfect place to pamper yourself at the same time. You'll find more info in the ad below.

Thanks again for introducing me to Gaddzilla Teas Karin,  I must kettle's calling me :)