Alex Trebek and I have never met. Yet he has been in my life since 1972 when we worked at the Jarvis Street office of CBC Radio in Toronto.
Alex hosted the early morning program, while I worked on a program called This Country in the Morning. Before our program went on air, I would rush down to the cafeteria and buy a large cup of coffee. On the way I passed Alex’ studio. When he smiled at me, my knees turned to jelly. With his black hair and sparkling eyes, he was movie star handsome.
Both of us left CBC Radio. Alex went to California and ultimately became the host of Jeopardy. Alex is the perfect host for this show and has been for over 30 years. I, meanwhile, returned to New Brunswick, Canada to care for my aging parents.
During those difficult times, Alex Trebek and Jeopardy were the one constant in my life, a little spark of joy to brighten my day. There was the half hour respite, during the long months when my father lay dying. After Mother came to live with me, we watched Jeopardy together.
When Mother died I took a road trip across Canada and each afternoon I found a truck stop lounge and sparred with the contestants on Jeopardy. After I remarried my husband and I watched Jeopardy together. Robert would get slightly miffed when I complained when Alex appeared in tan or maroon suits. I liked seeing him in dark suits, charcoal and navy.
I watched Alex Trebek as both our heads turned gray, as our figures thickened. And still each afternoon he charmed.
Last night I dreamed of Alex Trebek. I opened the door to my house, recognized him standing there, and invited him into my kitchen. He sat down at the table as I prepared the coffee.
And just as the sun rose in the sky the dream faded and I awoke to another day. To all the banal duties that fill one’s day, knowing that at eight o’clock I will watch Jeopardy and Alex Trebek, who has over the years become part of the fabric of my life.
I wish him well.