Yesterday I received the news that Martin Streek had passed away, apparently from suicide. Streek had been a fixture at Toronto’s CFNY radio station for 20 some years and touched many lives. That’s right, I said CFNY, not The Edge. That is because I’m old.
I never worked with Martin, so I’m in no way qualified to comment on his passing. I did however spend some time working with some of his co-workers during my brief stint as a guest host on AM640’s “Guy’s Garage” show. From my brief peek inside, it seemed like a pretty close knit community.
Toronto radio legend Fred Patterson on the other hand is completely qualified to make comment and he does so in his unique way over at FreddieP.ca
One thing that Fred commented on struck a chord with me and I thought I would comment on it:
I’ve said it on this blog many times before, I considered many of the people who worked at CFNY in the 80’s to be family and Martin was one of them. There was an atmosphere at the station back then that I’m sure could never be duplicated in today’s environment….
But it brought us all together in a unique way and it’s something I haven’t been able to shake. Those people I worked with at CFNY in the 80’s are literally part of me, they’re part of who I am and what I became and Martin Streek is on that list.
As a listener for the past 29 years (Ok, so I really am old) I too feel like I was part of that early community. The funny thing is that I’ve had a couple of jobs over the years that created nearly the same type of community and I feel very lucky to have been part of them.
The first was a restaurant called The Gatherings in North York. Back in the 80’s employees worked together, partied together, fooled around and even lived together. Some folks found their life partners through The Gatherings. Somehow though, we all treated each other like family and it is always a highlight of one’s day to bump into one of your friends from the old days. A few people still work in bars around TO and can usually tell you where everyone else is.
The second was a car dealership called Lawrence Park Motors. We sold and repaired Volvos and Land Rovers, but perhaps more importantly we built family like relationships that have lasted over a decade. I am still in contact with many folks I worked closely with, some as often as weekly. Again, we worked, played and in some cases played around. We had a family.
Both of these work communities helped form who we have become and I’m very grateful to have been (and still am) part of. I suspect that Fred and many of the folks who worked at NY have a similar feeling.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we love our friends and family, we can’t always help heal their deeper wounds. Sometimes the pain just runs too deep.
RIP Martin Streek