A for­tu­nate dis­cov­ery

Chicago res­i­dent puts Antigo­nish and AIFF in his travel plans

The Casket - - Local - RICHARD MACKEN­ZIE richard­mac@the­cas­ket.ca

Frank Mer­rill Jr., some­what ac­ci­dently, be­came a fan of Antigo­nish in 1984. In 2016 he, some­what ac­ci­dently again, be­came a fan of the Antigo­nish In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val (AIFF). This year, he in­ten­tion­ally made it back to town to en­joy both.

“I was at Dream­catcher’s (Deli and Treats) last night and said, what re­ally brings me back is within five feet of me, right here,” Mer­rill Jr., from Chicago, said, ref­er­enc­ing folks such as the restau­rant’s own­ers and op­er­a­tors Roseanne Maceach­ern and Mike Knoc­ton.

“And I like doc­u­men­taries, al­ways have, that set the tim­ing up for my trip now,” Mer­rill Jr. added.

He talked more about first land­ing in Antigo­nish back in the mid-80s, and re­turn­ing a cou­ple of years ago in Oc­to­ber.

“I was on va­ca­tion and wanted to prowl around the Mar­itimes, as well as go to New­found­land, when I stum­bled upon Antigo­nish,” he said.

“I was only here for an af­ter­noon but thought; this is re­ally a charm­ing town. Two years ago, I was over­due for an­other Mar­itimes trip and said one of the things I want to do is come back to Antigo­nish. I didn’t know I was go­ing to stum­ble into the film fes­ti­val, it was just when I could get away.”

One thing Mer­rill Jr., orig­i­nally from Michi­gan, said he does find ironic, is that it would be eas­ier for him to travel west to Cal­i­for­nia then com­ing to Antigo­nish.

“I have to make two flights and then that only gets me to Hal­i­fax,” he said, em­pha­siz­ing the roughly two hour drive from the air­port off Hwy. 102, as a sig­nif­i­cant part of the travel.

Still, he looks for­ward to the trip and while he noted it’s too early to com­mit to his next ven­ture to visit newly made friends in town and see AIFF se­lec­tions, he plans to come back.

“I hope so” he said, adding he spent the Sun­day af­ter the film fes­ti­val (Oct. 28) tak­ing in some pre-remembrance Day cer­e­monies in the area, while stay­ing with Maceach­ern and Knoc­ton.

“They said get back to Antigo­nish and you’ll have a place to stay, so that was pretty cool,” Mer­rill Jr. said.

He re­turns home to an in­ter­est­ing job, sell­ing vinyl records, mostly 45s.

“Not the al­bums, the 45s, and most of my stuff I bought 20, 30, 40 years ago,” he said, not­ing he sells mostly through the in­ter­net and a small pa­per cat­a­logue.

He noted prior to get­ting into his self-em­ployed job, he worked for the U.S. gov­ern­ment in an au­di­tor role.

“A pretty rad­i­cal change,” he said.

Rad­i­cal in­deed.

Richard Macken­zie

Frank Mer­rill Jr., from Chicago, is pic­tured out front of Antigo­nish’s Cine­plex Theatre, af­ter spend­ing the Oct. 26 to 28 week­end in town tak­ing in the Antigo­nish In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val and get­ting to­gether with friends in the area.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.