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The Yellow Door, Montreal

Dorothy Parshall 15 Oct 15 - 11:33 AM
Dorothy Parshall 16 Oct 15 - 10:41 AM
ChanteyLass 18 Oct 15 - 01:23 PM
Dorothy Parshall 18 Oct 15 - 01:33 PM
bobad 18 Oct 15 - 02:45 PM
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Subject: The Yellow Door Coffee House, Montreal
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 15 Oct 15 - 11:33 AM

It has occurred to me, in the fog of having lost a dear friend, that Roger also had an impact on the Folk Scene of Montreal in the late 60s and onward. When a couple young people approached him about the possibility of having a coffee house in the basement of the building owned by the Student Christian Movement in McGill, they were encouraged. The resulting Yellow Door Coffee House, the longest running such in Canada, was a major venue for young struggling musicians. Many had their start at the Sunday Hootenanny and went on from there - or did not.

Had the General Secretary of the SCM been a different sort of person... But Roger was an encourager. He was on top of things, More than once I sat in the office as he dealt with a desperate phone call from a musician who was stopped at the border or a Thursday afternoon. I listened in awe as he "thought on his feet", finding a solution so the show could go on.

Roger was not a musician; he was an Anglican priest. As I think about the 47 years I have known him, and his family, I look at the many things he has accomplished. To many, the coffee house might be the least of these but important to the many musicians who found their feet at "The Door".

As it was known, "in the day" throughout the folk community of North America, I was still stunned the eve I was on the door and a fellow walked up to the window, "Hi! I'm Jerry Jeff Walker and I'm playing down at the.... (I forget where!) I have some time and wondered if you all would mind if I did a guest set?" Yeah, the guy whose album got me going each morning as I cooked lunch for the students and musicians who had a warm place to hang out - thanks to Roger.

Roger moved through life at a speed that left most of us spinning. And now he has stopped and we are left with the memories of all the folks he helped along the way. Like the one who, hearing R's distinctive descent of the stairs, announced, "Here comes Roger B and his electric halo!"

"Those were the days, my friends. We thought they'd never end..." I suspect there are more than a few mudcatters who have memories of those days of the Yellow Door and, perhaps, of the man who facilitated its existence. Oops, mustn't drown the computer!

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Subject: RE: The Yellow Door, Montreal
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 16 Oct 15 - 10:41 AM

Surely there are some musicians on MC who have played at the Door!

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Subject: RE: The Yellow Door, Montreal
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 01:23 PM

Dorothy, Marc Nerenberg posts frequently about the Yellow Door on Mudcat's Facebook page. I just left a comment there to let him know about this thread. I hope he'll drop in here and contribute something.

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Subject: RE: The Yellow Door, Montreal
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 01:33 PM

Thank you, ChanteyLass. I shall go look.

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Subject: RE: The Yellow Door, Montreal
From: bobad
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 02:45 PM

I, and a couple of other Mudcatters that I know of, had our (first) marriages performed by Roger. Not being Anglican nor religious at all I had never contemplated a religious ceremony but Roger came across as more of a friend and mentor than a priest. He was a good man who did much for the community, I am saddened to learn of his passing.

PS re Jerry Jeff; I saw him at the Back Door, perhaps that is where he was appearing that time he showed up at the Door.

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Mudcat time: 23 September 9:18 AM EDT

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