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Growing up with The Times has been all about family and good times

October 2011

I remember distributing the first issue of The Senior Times at 5 years old in front of the Van Horne Shopping Centre—timidly approaching anyone with grey hair, as my mother had asked me.

I remember spending time at Brian Topp’s Studio Apostrophe, known to me as “the typesetter,” playing with a litter of kittens while my mother put together the articles and ads on a large board like a puzzle. I remember The Senior Times offices, first on Victoria, then Sherbrooke in N.D.G., then on Queen Mary, each with several rooms, lots of gadgets to play with and always an eclectic staff to talk to.

I remember the second anniversary party, The Times of Your Life, held at the Delta hotel. I proudly wore my red velvet dress with the white lace collar and had my hair done professionally in a perfect French braid. The gigantic birthday cake, which covered a huge table, mesmerized me while I patiently waited for my piece. My mother says I was quite sick at the time, but all I remember is how exciting the celebration was.

The Senior Times staff and contributors have been actual members of my family. In 1986, Uncle David convinced my mother to get into the publishing business after he had run successful papers in Edmonton. He has been helping out and consulting ever since. My father, Monty, a retired McGill professor of computer science, created the invoice software in 1986, which we are still using!

My cousin Jonathan Prosen spent several years doing the bookkeeping and typesetting, and my sister Amy took it over when he left to study podiatry. My late great Uncle Willy Moser, professor emeritus of mathematics at McGill, wrote a mathematics column for a few years called Mathematical Pie. His daughter, cousin Paula Moser, wrote a column on computers.

As a teenager, I once again helped to distribute the paper with my mother—she drove the car as I hopped in and out and around mountains of snow to place papers in stores, banks, restaurants, and libraries.

Playing with gadgets at age 6 or 7. Photo: Monty Newborn

The Senior Times has allowed me to share my travel experiences and I have discovered a love of writing through my column, Times and Places.

The staff have been an integral part of my life throughout the years. Jacquie Soloway Cons, our sales manager, still calls me Molly Malka, as I apparently called myself when I was 6 years old. As far as I can remember, she looks pretty much as she did when she began working for The Senior Times at the age of 23.

Ellen Lechter, then editor, gave us our precious kitten, Linda. Linda was with us for 20 years. Dr. Harold Bergman was one of our first advertisers, and has been our family’s optometrist for 25 years.

When I was 17, my mother introduced me to Mike Webber after I mentioned I wanted to learn how to play guitar. Mike was our sales manager, but more importantly was in a band called the Snitches—then prominent in the Montreal indie music scene. We shopped around for my perfect baby blue Yamaha Pacifica electric guitar, and within a day he had me playing my favourite Green Day songs.

I am a graduate student at McGill. Professor Ken Lester’s Applied Investments course is one of my favourites. It just so happens that he was one of The Senior Times’ first columnists and advertisers back when he ran Alternacare, a home-care business.

Though the production days are typically the most hectic, it is then that I enjoy spending time at the office. I like to watch Albert, our devoted “typesetter” put together the layout on his Mac, paying extra attention when it comes to choosing the pictures for my travel articles. We all eat dinner together. What’s more, since I have become a graduate student I’ve spent endless late night hours studying at The Senior Times during exams when the libraries are packed.

For 25 years, The Senior Times has published stories of humor, love, music, politics, science, travel, freedom of expression, human and animal rights, and an endless number of inspirational features.

I am proud to be a part of it, and grateful for all it has given me.

I am proud of my mom and her other baby

She teaches, writes, mothers, runs around town. She edits, supports. She champions, she adopts (dogs), she reads, she publishes.

She does each of these things with unyielding love and devotion. She loves what she does and has led The Senior Times to celebrate 25 years as her baby, her creation, her bullhorn, her cause, her monthly address to the senior and not-so-senior residents of Montreal and beyond.

I am proud to say that she is my mom and I am celebrating the past 25 years with The Senior Times as part of my life.



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