This is the story of how I met Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
As I mentioned before my father worked at the South Terminal. Of course, we didn’t call it the South Terminal at the time it was simply ‘Vancouver International Airport’.
This was the scene of my first brush with fame.
Because my father worked at the airport we were invited to meet Pierre Elliott Trudeau when he visited Vancouver.
My mother dressed me in my prettiest outfit and we waited patiently for Prime Minister Trudeau to disembark.
If you were a prime minister back in the day you simply walked off the plane and started talking to people.
There wasn’t a big show of security at least not that I could see.
P.E.T fever was at its height and all young ladies were supposed to scream cry and generally make swooning type overtures.
The operative word being ‘supposed to’.
Because of my dad’s work, we were put right at the front of this undulating crowd and we waited patiently to meet Pierre.
Look, I think we can all agree here that Justin is much better looking than his father.
Pierre approached and knelt down to introduce himself. I receded. My mother said, “Don’t you want to meet him?” I vehemently shook my head.
“Why didn’t you want to shake his hand?” My mother asked.
“He has googly eyes!” I stage-whispered, my eyes equally wide and googly to emulate his or so I thought.
I don’t think that Pierre was too hurt, but you never know.
I remember him standing back and giving his little signature shake of the head and then he moved on.
That was the summer of 1970.
The October crisis happened later that year.
When I watch this video now I realize that my not wanting to meet him probably did not affect him very much at all! (kidding). He seems very poised and calm during this interview
and actually quite attractive when you see his confidence. I also think I might have been wrong about the googly eyes. Magaret liked him well enough! No, I don’t think he was hurt by my rejection at all.
Maybe Justin isn’t the best looking one after all. Maybe Justin, with
his calm demeanor and what we would now consider to be middle liberal politics is quite the chip off the old block after all.
ps. Was that Peter Mansbridge off-screen in the interview?