Many moons ago, the internet was a barren landscape of computer nerds and curious onlookers. Before the days of Google, Facebook and YouTube, Marg Meikle, CBC’s sardonic yet utterly charming ‘Answer Lady’ on the Vicki Gabereau show, contacted me for some Internet help. If my memory serves me correctly, she wanted to connect to this nerdy new computer network at home, a sometimes challenging and always frustrating endevour at that point in time. She invited me to her very groovy (her words) pad in Kits and we worked on her various computer maladies while she brewed tea and chatted about interesting stuff, all of which I can no longer remember.
I helped Marg with her Internet connection (a dialup SLIP connection) that day and she jumped straight in, surfing, posting, downloading, uploading and commenting her way along the newly coined digital superhighway. She wasn’t necessarily a technical person but recognized the value in this new technology and understood it’s implications for our future. I was intrigued that this terrestrial radio personality, with little or no technical computer experience, was so interested in something that was, at that time, understood by so few and embraced by even fewer. She invited me to accompany her on CBC radio’s Almanac afternoon show hosted then by Cecelia Walters, we chatted about the technology and answered a number of call-in questions from listeners. It was great fun and led to a number of other radio appearances for me on CBC and CKNW radio, various written articles and more business for my fledgling ‘Net Brothers Internet Service‘. [Click the play button below to hear the Almanac episode]
Marg was a lovely lady. Bright as hell, hilarious, an animal lover and an all around good person. One of those people you tend to appreciate immediatly as one of the ‘good ones’. But, as happens so often, the good ones are tested and burdened.
Marg was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1999 when she was 43. Her son Mac was 18 months old. I remember not knowing what to say when she told me but thought that little or nothing could do battle with Marg and seriously consider a win.
Marg did wage war on Parkinson’s over the next fourteen years with her Porridge for Parkinson’s fund raising, bravely endured a surgical procedure and helped with the search for a cure. She received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for putting her face to Parkinsons disease and received a Vancouver Civic Merit Award earlier in 2012 for her work.
This morning I received an email from her husband Noel advising that Marg had just passed away. It happened as he was walking into the palliative care unit at Vancouver General Hospital and advised friends and family that “Finally she is released from the body that tortured her so.”
We lost one of the good ones today.
Click the play button below to hear the CBC Radio Almanac episode with Marg and Adam