Dave and Morley bound for Cranbrook

Vinyl Cafe creator will bring his tour to Key City Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 18

Stuart McLean

Believe it or not, Vinyl Cafe proprietor Dave was in charge of cooking the turkey this past weekend, according to creator Stuart McLean.

“He has spent years trying to redeem himself and Morley is graceful enough that she would allow him to do that,” McLean told The Townsman during a Thanksgiving Day interview.

‘Dave Cooks The Turkey’ is one of McLean’s most popular stories about the fictional Toronto record store owner, his wife Morley and their two children Stephanie and Sam. In the infamous story, Dave offers to take some pressure off Morley by buying and cooking the Christmas turkey, but forgets all about it until Christmas Eve.

It’s just one of the hundreds of beloved Dave and Morley stories McLean has created, and the bestselling author, radio host and award-winning journalist will bring The Vinyl Cafe to Cranbrook’s Key City Theatre on Thursday, October 18.

McLean will share two new stories with the Cranbrook audience, “one where Dave goes on a yoga retreat with his daughter Stephanie, and one about Morley and her garden,” he said.

Since he started sharing Dave and Morley stories on The Vinyl Cafe in 1994, McLean has written hundreds of tales about the lovable family. Now, they have become like family to him, McLean said.

“One of the reasons I don’t seem to be able to stop writing about them is that I miss them. I keep wanting to be involved in their life, I want to know what’s going on with them, and I can only find that out by writing about them,” he said.

The Vinyl Cafe airs Sunday afternoons on CBC, and does not consist solely of Dave and Morley stories. Many of the shows are recorded live while McLean is touring Canada, and can also include stories shared by the public, new Canadian music, commentary on the town McLean is performing in, and essays on Canadian life.

McLean said it is important that his storytelling reflects Canadian values.

“When I am writing about the country, I am writing about not only the places but the values that underpin the places, the Canadian values that I believe are important to remind people of, the things that we have held important over the years, that separate us,” he said.

Canada was dealt a challenging hand, McLean went on, “at the card game of nation building.”

“They gave us some pretty rough geography and a pretty difficult climate, and then they threw together two warring cultures, the French and the English. Amidst all of this… they said build a nation.

“Not only have we done that, but in just about all of the areas where coming together is difficult, where it is hard and heavy lifting – which is what you do about those who cannot look after themselves, what do you do about those who are too old to work, what do you do about those that might harm themselves or others, what do you do about those of us who are ill and need help – in just about all of those areas, we have come up with creative and inspiring and functional things that work really well. That’s hard to do.”

Canadians’ values have informed those tough decisions, McLean said.

“Those are the values I try and celebrate and that I try to remind people of – that we are a certain way, and we believe certain things, and here are those things, and those things have served us well. I find it a