William Watson: Was Stuart McLean, national treasure, also a public good?

I was not an early fan of Stuart McLean. I listened live to his famous gift of a cockroach to Peter Gzowski on Gzowski’s retirement show and thought it was silly, as, frankly, Gzowski seemed to, as well. And when The Vinyl Café first aired, I thought it was a pretty shameless rip-off of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, the long-running National Public Radio show, right down to the almost liturgical lilt of McLean’s voice as he told his stories.But I got over it and with the years fell into the habit, like millions of Canadians, I’m guessing, of finding

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