Without fanfare, a friendly man volunteers with the local hospital auxiliary. The same man displays great passion for exercise as he works out at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre.
I met Dave Reynolds over the years as he and my wife Susan had been friends growing up in Sydney. Oh, those stories of Sydney Academy, the YMCA and High Y, I’ve heard many of them.
Reynolds shared recently how he and his wife Gale arrived in Truro in 2013.
“It was Gale actually who had an interest in Truro,” said Reynolds, 76. “It was the RECC that drew us here. The facility has a pool which caught Gale’s attention; we discovered the facility had exactly what we wanted. The gym was ideal and the Truro golf course was a five-minute walk from where we planned to live.
“We had lived in the country from 1981 to 2013, Black Rock, near Big Bras D’or, Cape Breton. We liked Truro, everything was close, we were ready to be downtown. Truro fit the bill. Both Gale and I have found it great living in Truro.”
Radio and television involvement highlighted Reynolds’s interesting journey; it led to him commentating on Hockey Night In Canada, from 1973 until 1976.
After graduating from Sydney Academy, Reynolds was in his second year attending Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown and working toward an arts degree when he dropped into a local radio station. He learned about a job possibility with a Moncton television station; his future was about to change drastically.
From 1963 until 1967 he worked for CKCW in Moncton. Two years in television and radio followed in Sydney.
“Back then, the Maritimes were pretty well a training ground for people in television,” Reynolds said. “People often went to Upper Canada to see where it might lead.”
In 1969, Reynolds joined CFCF Radio in Montreal. After two years, it was on to CFOX and doing morning radio and sports.
Meeting Dick Irvin Jr., of hockey broadcasting fame, led to doing television sports with CFCF channel 12. Hockey Night In Canada would come soon after.
Reynolds recalled auditions for HNIC taking place downstairs in one of the station’s studios.
“It was suggested I do an audition. I forgot to go down and Dick (Irvin) and Ron Reusch came up and got me. I had no tie and I remember they had to find me a proper jacket. I went home afterward, and I received a call from Don Wallace. He said ‘you got the job.’ I was stunned, I was pleased, I was excited. It was also intimidating.”
In the days of stick microphones – Reynolds worked the Montreal games and Dave Hodge worked the Toronto games.
“When I look back to what I did, we were called ‘between-period hosts,’ and I think of someone like Ron MacLean – they have such a depth of knowledge today. It’s a different league altogether. There are a lot of very smart people involved. I’ve noticed the crowds in the broadcasts these days; in my day we had three stools, one for me, one for the guest and one for my notes.”
Besides writing the opening and preparing interviews, Reynolds came on the air describing the two teams and players to watch.
“Howie Meeker was my Don Cherry. For replays he’d set it up so fans would understand the play unfolding. Howie was fun, he was really exciting. He was also one of those guys who tolerated this rookie.”
Between periods, Reynolds interviewed a Montreal Canadiens player as well as a player from the visiting team.
“Howie would do highlight analysis. At the end of the game, I would rhyme off scores of other games and say goodnight.”
The broadcasts had two Cape Bretoners.
Announcer “Danny Gallivan was a consummate professional,” Reynolds said. “Danny was super nice to me. Danny was very kind, supportive and helpful.”
Reynolds interviewed the game’s biggest stars, Jean Beliveau, Tim Horton, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Guy Lafleur, Johnny Bower,
Darryl Sittler and other greats.
He also did radio play-by-play of Montreal Alouettes CFL football and Montreal Expos National League baseball games. After HNIC, his career took him to Citytv in Toronto for a number of years as well as his native Sydney for 10 years with CJCB Radio.
Dave’s wife Gale, a Montreal native, is a former Montreal and Toronto television producer/director.
Lyle Carter’s column appears every second week in the Truro News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 902 673-2857