When I heard that Chatelaine had named Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail its "Maverick of the Year," I ran out to get my copy of its Women of the Year special edition.
I've known Danielle since she was a wee girl swimming in her family swimming pool. I've watched with interest as she has grown into a wonderful young woman, full of chutzpah and confidence.
She's already published her first book, For the Love of Flying, a history of Laurentian Air. She's also managed to convince a bunch of cynical old air geeks to install her as the first female president of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society.
Right now, she's hard at work on a historical novel about a female bush pilot in the 1930s, and I'm told she's also working a personal project -- the first grandchild of Mary and Jacques.
Danielle wrote a highly amusing blog, The Adventures of Dani Canuck, in which she describes her travels around Canada's great North. Last year, she did a stint living as a writer-in-residence at Berton House up in the Yukon. I particularly enjoyed her tale of tossing back some horrible hooch containing the dessicated toe of some old fellar.
Danny didn't flinch. Like most air geeks, she must have the intestinal fortitude of a carborator.
I'm not surprised that Dani Canuck has soared into the literary stratosphere making friends with Charlotte Gray among others, and I won't be surprised when, one day, she wins a few of those Can-Lit prizes.
Star quality, that's what the girl has.
She is her mother's daughter after all. Mary saved my sorry career more than once in this lifetime by throwing me work when I had none. She is disciplined, highly organized and successful and she has been one of the most likeable consultants to wander the halls of the government bureaucracy. She's a rare breed.
Mary was great to work for, but she was a tough taskmaster for lazy loafs like me. All of the work leaving Mary's office had to be properly paginated, grammatically-correct and lovely to look at -- even if the topic was some dry as bones environment scan or research report.
I'm sure it wasn't always easy for Danielle in the household of Mary and Jacques. Mary is a great mom but I'm sure she took very little teenage crap from her only daughter. Thankfully, Jacques was there for comic relief.
Like my own daughter, Danielle has it all. She's married to her childhood sweetheart, a successful engineer who has spirited her away to the West, she has a wonderful heart, the spirit of adventure, the sense of wonder that is the core ingredient in a good writer.
And she has a great sense of family.
I feel myself privileged to know Dani Canuck and the wonderful Metcalfe-Chenail family.
I wish Danielle every success for the future.
Like she needs any encouragement.