Alex…the bravest redhead

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2008 at 7:36 am

The bravest redhead, photo by V. Lions

Hi All,

If you are reading this, chances are you are one of our friends who have known of Alex’s valiant and lifelong battle with Cystic Fibrosis. You’ve also made your way here because you’ve been apprised of the fact that Alex has finally received the lifesaving gift of new lungs from a very special donor. Over the next few days, weeks, and months I (and before long Alex) will be keeping you up-to-date with Alex’s recovery and life post-transplant. As I am sitting here writing these words Alex is in the ICU ward of Toronto General Hospital. I know that she would much rather be at home typing these words to you if she could. And in truth, she’d probably do a much better job of it. But for now, let me be the one who speaks for the bravest redhead, the love of my life, my beautiful wife, Alex.


(Colonel) Tom Parker

Here are a few of the things you can do if you can BREATHE…. September 2016

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2016 at 5:56 am

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Kensington Market Jazz 2016!

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2016 at 5:52 am


This weekend in Toronto my Alleycats and I will play the newly formed Kensington Market Jazz Festival, at The Supermarket (265 Augusta Ave) on Saturday September 17 @ 6pm, $10 cash at door.

What is this “Kensington Market” you ask? that’s a good question….

It’s always been a “real” place, a neighbourhood of folks, artists, musicians, fish mongers, army surpless stores, vintage clothing, bongs, street eats, bikes, and of course, “The King of Kensington,” Al Waxman of CBC television series fame (1975-1980) whose statue graces the park.

My first memories of Kensington involve coming “downtown” from the ‘burbs to find a cool jacket in the many vintage stores this little village has to offer. I think I got a brown suede jacket that I took back to highschool and felt really fabulous about. It was, by today’s standards, several sizes too large. But fashion is as fashion does, and you’ll find it all in Kensington.

Today the market retains a … hmmm…. bohemian element? It still resists the “one world” phenomenon that other neighbourhoods, and other cities, have fallen prey too. You can still expect to smell some weed, get inexpensive groceries, hear people jamming in the park, expect car-free events, vintage shops,  eateries, and solstice parties.

Need a wall of buttons for a sewing project? Kensington. Need a flapper dress for Hallowe’en? Kensington. Need an authentic Mexican Taco? Kensington.  Need to hear great locally grown jazz artists? KENSINGTON MARKET JAZZ FESTIVAL SEPT 16,17,18!

The inaugural festival takes place over 3 days at several venues, featuring 100+ of Toronto’s own jazz greats. With shows close together in proximity and time, you’ll be able to catch Robert Scott play grand piano at Tom’s Place, roll up the street and hear my group, Alex Pangman’s Alleycats at the Supermarket, and then onwards to hear Sophie Milman at the Round Venue, and next, well…. the possibilities are nearly endless! (Please do bring cash, because that’s how tickets are sold at the festival.)

Check the full schedule here:

Organizers Molly Johnson, Geneviève Marentette, Ori Dagan, Celine Peterson and the crew of volunteers guarantee it’s gonna be a great time, in a great neighbourhood setting, and you should come!

It’s also a festival with a heart, supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Canada, and a Diva Dress Sale on Augusta at  Bungalow vintage (featuring dresses for sale previously worn by some of the festivals star singers) which sales will support  the Stephen Lewis Foundation for children orphaned by AIDS.

Trust your heart!

And see you there….