Fenner has been known for his antics. I don't think he can avoid it actually. I've known Fenner since high school and he's always appeared to be up to something. His Great Uncle owned the Nellie J. Banks, the famous "Rumrunner". His uncles family went to Nova Scotia to get a boy to help out on the farm, and they brought home a girl. That girl was his grandmother.
"She was an adopted little orphan just like Anne of Green Gables?"
"My grandmother was teaching at the schoolhouse in Cavendish. The story stops there, she was nothing like the kindred spirited Anne, that Lucy writes about. But the initial boy girl mix up...that is my grandmother."
His grandmother being the inspiration for Anne of Green Gables was a perfect way to meet Chilina who was playing Anne on stage that summer.
So I knew her for 3 weeks. I knew I was in love with her.
"Wait you knew you were in love after 3 weeks?"
She was in bed at home, and had a two show day the next day. I was at a dinner party. I called her up and said why don't you come out for a drink?
"No I have a 2 show day tomorrow." So I convinced her to come out for one drink.
And I was already pretty...
Had a couple...
You were already pretty "Fenner".
I was in fine
Proper form, for me.
I met her at her house, escorted her to Peakes Quay, we met with some friends, had a couple more drinks. Then we were walking. She had sore feet from doing so many shows that I told her I would carry her. I put her on my back and was carrying her to Stephen's place.
I was just past here on the next block, there was a sidewalk, that was upheaved. So I was walking normally, but it caught my toe, and I went forward. Chilina was so high on my shoulders, that there's this sort of critical point where you can step and hold a certain amount of weight to pull yourself back up.
And I went so far forward, that we toppled. There was no way I could brace her. She didn't get her hands down on time. She fell right on her face.
And she was on the ground, and I went OHHHH...my god!
"So she had sore feet, and then you added to that with a sore head?"
So she gets up and the whole side of her face has been marked. And she said to me, "Are my teeth ok?"
And I wasn't sure if they would be broken or not! She was saying "please please please please please"...She smiled and her teeth were fine. But the whole side of her face was marked. She was never mad at me for a moment. It was an accident, you tripped on a curb, da da da da.
So I said "let's go back to your place". She went right in and the understudy opens the door, and said "Oh my god you were in a car accident, is Fenner dead?"
That's what her face looked like, it looked like her face went through a windshield. It was swollen.
Then she said "OH MY GOD, I have to go on tomorrow."
Then they were panicking. Chilina started calling stage management at 3 in the morning. Saying "I fell on my face, I'm not going to be in for the lunchtime show".
By 6 o'clock in the morning all of the stage management were in their back yard. Chilina and the understudy started doing choreography almost immediately.
"So makeup for her face? That couldn't take care of it?"
It was that bad. Makeup didn't take care of it for weeks.
So by 6 o'clock stage management was in the yard, going over choreography. I was trying to make everybody happy by going "I'll go get coffee and timbits!"
Nobody appreciated it. I was the asshole. Nobody loved me. Nobody wanted to talk to me, everybody hated me. There was no good happening there.
It was all bad.
No good happening there Fenner. So you went unnoticed.
Then for days after that, Prince Edward Island being as it is, people saw her, her face was smashed, and I would be out with her. I kept getting these looks from locals like "you bastard wife beater!"
I always got dirty looks, people thought I was beating my cute little wife.
Then for the rest of the summer I was the lawyer who dropped Anne on her face.