Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stephen Harper

I liked this article in the Toronto Sun, about Stephen Harper. You forget in politics, that politicians are people too, and even when/if you don't agree with them on much over different political things, if you knew them in real life, you'd probably still like them, the way you still get along with people you know even though they can be totally on different spectrums politically or religiously or other.

Surely no one can really have been this nice.

Blame it on evil journalistic scepticism, but my mission yesterday became finding someone -- anyone -- who has something even a teensy bit bad to say about a certain Richview Collegiate Institute alumnus named Stephen Harper.

But in the hallowed halls of the Etobicoke high school celebrating its 50th anniversary yesterday, the many indulging in nostalgic memories of scarlet and gold would yield only glowing -- and rather protective -- reviews of Harper, Class of 1978.

In that year's yearbook, the gangly guy looking out at the future through hugely unattractive glasses was renowned as the school brain who led them in Reach for the Top and was a gold medallist for the highest graduating average.

Or as yet another of his fellow alumni confided with a chuckle, "I don't know if anyone's told you yet, but he was really a smart guy."

No kidding.

In Room 103, where balding men and well-preserved women were noisily catching up on their old high school friends from 1974 to '78, Susan Del Giudice smiled when asked about the terribly thin, geeky guy who once worked up the courage to ask her on a date.

"We took most of our classes together and he was the consummate gentleman but painfully shy," recalled Del Giudice, an elementary school principal. "He was an incredible writer. He wrote a beautiful letter to me that was very poetic and sensitive."

They gravitated towards each other, she said, because neither had a large circle of friends and both were considered the "nerds" of Richview. She still remembers their Grade 10 history class when the teacher and the students gave Harper a standing ovation after one of his presentations.