By Jim Hagarty
There was a little thing going around on Facebook asking users what we would say if we had a chance to talk to our younger selves. What advice would we offer that young whippersnapper who grew into the old guy we are today?
I can think of many things I might say but the most important piece of wisdom I would offer young Jim would be career-related. I would tell my younger self to legally change his name to Gordon. Why my parents never had the good sense to do that in the first place, I don’t know, but for someone destined for a working life putting himself before the public through artistic and entertainment endeavours, Gordon is the only and best name for any Canadian boy.
All the greats are named Gordon. Gordon Howe, greatest hockey player ever, Gordon Lightfoot, greatest folk musician the country has ever produced, and Gordon Pinsent, one of the finest actors anywhere. Also Gordon Downey, lead singer of The Tragically Hip. And I grew up watching a crabby old journalist/broadcaster named Gordon Sinclair, a character if there ever was one, and a guy I almost ran over one day as I nervously chartered the insane Yonge Street in downtown Toronto. As I managed to screech to a halt just in time, he turned, inches from the hood of my car, and gave me a look I imagine only a Gordon could give.
Seems to me, the given name Gordon is almost a ticket to success in Canada.
Instead, Jim. What am I supposed to do with that? Even the proper form for it, James, hasn’t got the same Gordian touch.
There has never been a Gordon in my family going back hundreds of years. I think this explains the mediocrity of our contributions to the world of sports and entertainment. There is no Stanley Cup, Grammy or Oscar on my mantle.
A Gordon Hagarty is long overdue.