Soon after I started this Cabbagetown site I was contacted by Ted Plantos, who had been born and raised in Cabbagetown / Regent Park. I had never heard of Ted, nor he of me, but we seemed to remember and enjoy pretty much the same things from our old neighbourhood. He was a few years older than me but he had haunted the same restaurants, stores and movie houses that I did. We both knew the same families but had hung out in different circles mostly due to our age difference, so we had never bumped into each other, at least not that we could recall.
We hit it off pretty well and went on for a couple of years discussing Cabbagetown, both past and present. Always through email, we never did get around to meeting each other face to face. Many times one of us would fill in the missing pieces in the other's memory, then off we'd go yapping about some long forgotten place or thing.
He was really pissed off that the Yuppies had moved into the area just north of Cabbagetown and stolen the name, obviously they took it because it sounded so trendy. However, I told him I didn't really care about all that since the real Cabbagetown had been dead and buried for decades, all I wanted to do was keep those precious memories of the area alive. This freaked him out and we got into one of our frequent "not talking to each other" bouts. Finally, I challenged him to post his feelings on this site, which he did, although not as passionately as I had hoped he would. I have posted that response below. He also sent along some quotes from other Cabbagetown authors, then I added my two cents worth.
Ted, as it turned out, was a successful author and poet. Although not as well known as Margaret Attwood or Pierre Berton, he still had quite a body of published work under his belt. He told me that all our discussions about Cabbagetown had inspired him to write a short story. He sent me a copy of the story which he called Ragtown. When I asked him why he didn't call it Cabbagetown, he said American's wouldn't buy a book about a Canadian place. Anyway, the story was published in his last book, The Shanghai Noodle Killing, (Seraphim Editions, 2000) although the finished story is somewhat different than the draft he sent me. The book is 125 pages with 18 short, but very interesting stories. Hey, I'm even mentioned in the aknowledgements at the front, and he used my real name as one of the Ragtown characters. So I'm a little bit proud of that.
The Shanghai Noodle Killing can be purchased from Seraphim Editions at the below link. Ted had quite the immagination and it makes for a fun read.
Anyway, I suddenly stopped getting emails from Ted and his website disappeard at the same time. Then I found out months later that Ted died of cancer early in 2001. I was very shocked since he had never told me he was ill. I'm going to miss Ted, especially the many times we locked horns over some stupid little unimportant detail. I guess we were both pig-headed and that made our conversations all the more fun.