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Subject: Re: favorite opera books
From: Mark Bartelt <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mark Bartelt <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 10 Feb 2018 15:55:32 -0800

text/plain (54 lines)

I was planning to mention Father Lee's books, but
Dennis Ryan beat me to it (and did a better job of
providing capsule summaries of them than I probably
would have).  But his mention of Father Lee reminds
of an amusing anecdote, though:

Back in the 1990s (I forget the exact year) I bought
a copy of First Intermissions to give to my dad for
Christmas.  Since I was working at the University of
Toronto at the time, I decided that it might be nice
to have the book autographed by Father Lee.

So I phoned him in his office to ask him whether it
would be OK with him.  At first he sounded kind of
negative about it, and added (I presume as a way to
persuade me that it wouldn't be worth my time) that
I'd need to get myself to the University of Toronto
to come to his office.

I explained that I worked at UofT, so it would take
me only three or four minutes to walk over.  Then he
(sort of gruffly) said OK, but that he could really
spare only a minute or two, since he was quite busy
preparing for midterms.  That seemed OK to me.

But when I got to his office, he was much friendlier
than he had been over the phone.  He asked me what my
favourite opera was, and when I replied Parsifal, he
seemed genuinely surprised, and asked why.  So that
started a discussion about opera which continued for
an hour or so!  For him, that clearly took precedence
over his getting ready for midterms.  ;-)

I also enjoyed the inscription he wrote on the inside
cover of the book.  He asked me what my father's name
was, and I replied that it was Lou.  So he wrote (and
up to that point I didn't know what his first name was
since he was always referred to as "M. Owen Lee") ...

To Mark's father Lou
From Father Mark Owen Lee

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