From Peter Mansbrige One On One: Favourite Conversations and the Stories Behind Them, published by Random House Canada in 2009.
I had arrived in Churchill the year before to work as a ticket agent for Transair, one of the country’s leading regional airlines. I was nineteen and a high-school dropout, and I had just recently left an exciting but relatively unsuccessful stint in the Royal Canadian Navy. The Transair job looked like fun, and it quickly became just that. I was travelling around the West and the North, doing anything and everything that needed doing. I loaded planes and sold tickets. I was once even responsible for keeping the engines warm on an old but pretty reliable four-engine dc-4 that ran supply missions to isolated weather and defence stations in the High Arctic.
Then one day in September, just a few months after I arrived, with a crowded passenger terminal filled with ticket holders anxious to head south, someone asked me to “announce” the flight. In Churchill that meant heading over to a microphone at the ticket counter, pushing down the Talk button, and rolling out these words: “Transair Flight 106 for Thompson, The Pas and Winnipeg is now ready for boarding at Gate One. Passengers travelling with small children and those requiring boarding assis¬tance, please check with the agent at the gate.”
Then I was supposed to dash to the gate to be that agent, but before I could get there, someone who had been standing in the crowd cut in front of me. “You’ve got a great voice,” he said. “Have you ever thought of being in radio?”