THE great blizzard which held New York in its icy grip or paralyzed mighty Manhattan, depending on what newspaper you read, did neither of these things to Beverley Baxter who docked there the day before Christmas. The man who writes our London Letter battled the knee-high drifts of that frappéd and slightly jaded junction for two days and then briskly took off for Canada to get away from winter.
We were talking to him here in Toronto just after he arrived and he said he was feeling fine. You might be interested to know that Mr. Baxter observes no great changes in his native country since he was last here in the spring. Nor does he see any great change in Mr. Baxter.
“I’m the same as I always was —saying that Canada is on the verge of a great era. I suppose if I keep saying this I am sure to be right some time. But I do feel this country has become tremendously powerful and important in world affairs,” said Mr. Baxter, mentally putting another sizeable bet on the senior Dominion.
“All Canada needs now is another ten or fifteen million people,” he added.
Mr. Baxter is not a gambling man, but as a writer he forms sudden and touching affections for figures of speech which he finds hard to break. For instance, talking about Great Britain he began:
“Those people who bet on Britain being beaten are going to lose. Britain is going to make it. You get that feeling wherever you go. The new production figures have been a great tonic to everyone. Britain has regained its old spirit of resolution and while the next twelve months are going to be difficult there are no rigors the people will not accept.”
Mr. Baxter left Toronto, with a nervous glance over his shoulder, when it began to snow one day around New Year’s. He’s on a lecture tour that will take him through the United States for two months, swinging wide around the snow belt. He’s going to be in Hollywood for a week. He’ll be writing about the U. S. scene while he’s on this side and the first piece will appear in Maclean’s, March I.
He’s sailing for Britain at the end of February “to see what that Socialist Government has done while I’m away.”
#When a Maclean’s picture unit -set out for Ravina Rink in Toronto one morning last October to take
the color shot of Barbara Ann Scott that we’ve used on the cover of this issue, the members of the expedition were loaded down with color cameras, rolls of film, flash bulbs, a box of matches (the wooden kind that work well on a pipe) and the idea they might get a picture of the skating star and get out again in a hurry.
Everything worked fine, particularly the matches which we’ll explain about later, except the idea about getting out in a hurry.
Here’s an excerpt from a report on the safari by its leader, our art editor Dave Battersby:
“Barbara Ann was making a film short and our appointment was for 9.30 a.m. Ken Bell, the photographer, with three assistants, our Mr. Bonisteel and myself arrived at the appointed time. Barbara Ann was already on the ice and working with the film company. She had been before the camera all week, every day for an average of 10 hours a day. The day before she had been on the ice for 14 hours.
“The movie company was having trouble with the mist in the air fogging up their lenses. Electric fuses for the building were blowing out in the middle of almost every number. When the director was satisfied with a scene, B. A. or her mother wouldn’t be. The net result was that every scene had to be retaken for everyone’s satisfaction.
“The director refused to allow us on the ice between takes because our footprints would show up in (he next scene.
“What with one delay and another, we finally got our chance at 5.30 in the afternoon and then only after the main fuse for the building had blown.
“With the huge building in total darkness all five of us set up the backdrop. We had to light matches at B. A.’s heels to get the focus for the camera. On the count of three, she would take a pose. On the same count we flashed eight flash bulbs at once. We had to work fast to keep our lenses from fogging.
“We got out of there fast but not before admitting the gal was okay. If I’d been she, I’d have kicked the sides out of the building every half hour just to relax my nerves.”
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.