Posts tagged ‘Tobias Pohl-Weary’

Grandma Judy

Grandma Judy

In the 1970s, both Judy and I had become active in Canadian television, Judy as the person who handled Dr. Who for Ontario Television, me as a sort of all-purpose guest correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s coverage of the American space doings, ending with the CBC’s coverage of the rendezvous in orbit of the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft and the American Apollo.

Things reached a point with Judy where I could do something for her. The Ontario TV authorities were getting difficult. Dr. Who had been sold to them as science fiction under the general principle that science fiction was educational and therefore good for children to watch. Educational authorities, though, were up in arms to say that such claims were ridiculous. Dr. Who wasn’t science. It was silly garbage, and it should be off the air.

And what Judy wanted to know was, “Listen, Fred, you’re pretty good at that space-program science talk. If we gave you time, is there anything you could say that would make Dr. Who sound a little more sciency?”

I thought that was a pretty funny request. I had also, for some time, been spending a lot of my time defending sf in general as healthy for people to watch. True, Dr. Who was a pretty marginal case. But you could find scientific lessons in almost any fantasy story once you allowed quantum reality to be defined as scientific, and I wrote a number of comments-on-the-air for Judy’s shows, and the problem passed.

It wasn’t just the opportunities for working together that brought Judy and me together at last. Most of all it was our growing number of descendants. Our daughter Ann had gone and grown up, and she had married a Canadian named Walter Weary, with whom she had two children, Tobias, who is now an excellent chef, with children of his own, and Emily, the granddaughter who won the Hugo Award.

After that marriage tanked, Ann married Juan Miranda, an Argentinean immigrant to Canada who was a high-tech electronics engineer. The reason he left Argentina for Canada is that Argentina had fallen under the rule of the brutally murderous “colonels,” who formed the habit of picking up people who criticized them on the street, torturing them, then murdering them and burying them in unmarked graves so their families could not even have the satisfaction of being sure whether they were dead or alive. Juan himself had been picked up by the death squads. But it was just at the end of their power. Legitimate law officials were arresting them and releasing their prisoners. Whereupon Juan very sensibly decided to get the hell out of Argentina. (His elder brother was less lucky. He had been picked up a year or so earlier and was never seen again.)

Anyway, Juan Miranda was one of my favorite sons-in-law of all time. He was smart, he was funny, he was crazy about Ann, and with her help, he gave us two more grandkids, Julia and Daniel. Judy was fond of him, too. Every time I (or, more frequently, Carol and I) managed to get to Annie’s house to view our descendants, Judy did her best to get there too.

Judy and I had one trait that united us. At the time, she and I were both unregenerate heavy smokers. Nobody else in our families was. When we needed a fix, what we did was go out on the front porch, light up, and spend half an hour chatting about things in general. You know. Like old friends do.

Part of that ended when Annie’s last marriage ended, and she moved way to the Atlantic Maritime Provinces of Canada. Then Judy’s health began to fail. She got really sick. And then, in 1997, she died.

I am pleased that, at the end of the last time I saw her, she gave me a hug. Do you know that it’s possible to have happy endings, at least reasonably happy ones, in the real world, too?

Related posts:
Judith Merril, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8


Red Canoe Bistro, 398 John St., Burlington, ON, L7R 2K4, Canada, (905) 637-6137.

398 John St., Burlington, ON, L7R 2K4, Canada, (905) 637-6137.

You know how it is when you’re in Toronto and you need to drive down to Niagara Falls, only it’s time for lunch and you’re getting really hungry, and you don’t know the name of any really outstandingly good restaurant on the way? Well, we can help you there.

The one you want to go to is the Red Canoe Bistro in Burlington, Ontario, voted the best new restaurant of the year and well deserving of the honor. Check out their website for directions and menus.

The proprietor and head chef is the talented Tobias Pohl-Weary, who has not only been winning awards for his cuisine but is also my grandson, of whom I am really proud.

Say hello to our new great-grandson, Max. Max was so anxious to meet you all that he arrived eight weeks early, scaring the heck out of our grandson Tobias and his wife, Colleen.

Colleen writes from Toronto:

Our Miracle Baby: Maxwell George Frederik Warren Pohl-Weary

Maxwell George Frederik Warren Pohl-Weary

Maxwell Pohl-Weary

Maxwell George Frederik Warren Pohl-Weary was born at 32 weeks, 1:45 a.m. on January 16, 2009.

Although my deIivery was 8 weeks early, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. I’d been telling people for the last week or more that I felt like baby could come any day. After my water broke at 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 18, Tobias and I went into panic mode. The whole drive to the hospital was a surreal experience, Tobias drove while my contractions got more intense, and I spoke to our family doctor by cell. The plan originally was to have me transported to McMaster, as Joseph Brant is not equipped to manage most 32-week-old preemies. However, my labour was too quick, and there was no time for a transfer.

Maxwell made quite a dramatic entrance that was full of exciting moments that I will not soon forget!

He was placed on a CPAP machine to keep his lungs inflated with gentle airflow and help him breathe. By the time the transport team arrived, however, he was able to breathe without any assistance. Maxwell stayed at Joseph Brant’s Special Care Nursery from Jan. 16 until Feb. 3. Although he had been doing quite well, tolerating feeds well, gaining weight and managing decreased temperatures in his isolette — on Feb. 2, Maxwell suddenly developed problems that were identified as possible necrotizing enterocolitis. It was a very frightening development, as Maxwell stopped tolerating feeds, his belly was very swollen, we could see the outline of loops of bowel through the skin, and he was inconsolable with pain. He was transported in the evening of Feb. 3 to McMaster’s NICU by ambulance.

Big sister Sasha holding Mawell for the first time.

Big sister Sasha holding Maxwell.

Dr. Marrin, the neonatologist managing Maxwell’s case for the first week or so at McMaster’s NICU did not describe a very positive situation — stating that Maxwell had a serious case of NEC, with his entire small intestine affected, and that there was a moderately high likelihood that he would experience a bowel perforation that would require surgical intervention. Maxwell was placed on morphine to manage his pain for the first several days in the NICU, kept off food for 14 days, received intravenous nutrition called TPN, and was on a course of three antibiotics during that time. He rallied very well, after the first few days during which the disease progressed, and Maxwell recovered with no need for surgery. He advanced to full breastfeeds, and did well with weight gain.

Maxwell finally came home on Feb. 24, 2009!

Since coming home, Maxwell has gained over an ounce a day, and has been a joyful addition to our family. Big sister Sasha is very proud to help care for him; she has adapted very well to the unpredictable changes. We are blessed to have such strong children, and appreciate “normal” life much more so after this experience.

Welcome to the world, Max!