ADLAM email@example.com_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-05 published
Michael Iain PRENTICE
By Joel KWINTER, Barry ALPER, Doug ADLAM Tuesday, August 5, 2003 - Page A16
Father, husband, son, friend, television producer. Born October 21, 1964, in Toronto. Died May in Toronto, of natural causes, aged 38.
Michael PRENTICE was a Big Manitoba He was physically big, but also big in so many other ways. He had a big charming personality, a big collection of Friends and he was a big reader. He also had a big appetite for adventure, travel, exotic food, fine wines and unique liquors; he told big stories, had big adventures and hosted big parties. He was really a big loveable guy.
His Friends had several nicknames for Michael, including Big Country, Large and in Charge, the Country Squire, and occasionally and only playfully, the Big Baby.
Behind his big, tough exterior, was a sentimental, loving man. His love for his wife Janet, and daughters Emma and Margot, as well as his love of cooking, gardening, collecting first edition books, and spending time at the cottage, often eclipsed his tough exterior.
Michael played to win and often tested the boundaries. He appeared to have the ability to pick up new activities or new interests effortlessly. Michael simply put his mind to excelling at something, and he did. He lived his life the way he played tennis -- after the first serve, he would always charge the net and go for the "smash."
Michael introduced many of his Friends to golf, eventually establishing a tradition of Wednesday night golf. Week after week, no one could beat Michael -- his Friends affectionately called his winning streak "the reign of terror." Michael diligently kept score at every round he played, sometimes keeping better track of other people's strokes than his own.
Michael hosted an annual boys' weekend, where he'd make a pot of spicy chili and loaves of homemade bread. The veterans of the boys' weekend knew to approach the bread with caution, because it was even spicier than the chili. Every year, a good laugh would be had as we watched the uninitiated try to put the spice-fire out of his mouth, by eating more and more of the spicy bread.
Michael was proud of his upbringing, and was close to his parents Ralph and Mary, and his sister Carolyn. Michael was in his element at the family cottage near Bancroft, Ontario He extended open invitations to all his Friends, and used the cottage to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. He expended great effort so that everyone would have a good time.
Michael loved to tell stories. They often started with "When I was living in England", or "When I was living in India", or "When I was living in Australia." His life in many ways was a search for great stories, and he relished telling them as much as his Friends loved hearing them.
Though born and raised Presbyterian, he was a practicing contrarian. In the spirit of debate, he was prepared to take different sides on the same issue. He loved the role of devil's advocate, and because he was so smart and such a voracious reader, his arguments were convincing, even when he was arguing against a point he had made previously. This was sport for Michael, and he played it well.
Michael had a traveller's attitude to life. He turned everyday activities into events, and opportunities for new experiences. Often, he would playfully push his companion into an awkward moment or toward a new challenge, thus heightening the experience and further building his portfolio of stories.
Michael has left a big hole in our lives, but he has left us with such rich memories, traditions, and stories, that his spirit will always be with us. To quote the lyrics from one of Michael's favorite songs by Bryan Ferry, "These ties that bind us, they still surround us".
Joel KWINTER, ALPER and Doug ADLAM are Michael's Friends.
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