The Guardian reports that reporter Nigel Armstrong died last night.
Although I didn’t know Nigel well, our paths crossed many times over the years on matters journalistic, especially when Nigel became responsible for the paper’s website.
My favourite of all the journalistic things Nigel did over the years was his story from 2014 about a bus, a gas tank, a fire-eater, and a cat:
Watching the whole proceeding with a sense of irony was a fire-eating busker who gave her performance name of Ariane Pyromane, her last name being the French equivalent of pyromaniac or arsonist.
She just arrived on P.E.I. from Montreal Monday with her cat TouTou, her guitar, and her fire eating hoops and gear.
She was strumming a tune on a park bench in front of Confederation Centre when she heard a sort of explosion just meters away.
“The bus kind of lifted a little bit in the air and then all the gas started spilling everywhere,” said Ariane. “There was no fire, only a little bit of smoke.”
TouTou remained unimpressed and Ariane kept on busking as firefighters and police arrived on scene.
I came across the story again last year and I emailed Nigel to thank him for it; he replied:
I remember now that I came back to the office smiling and full of excitement to craft a good one with that good material.
And he did.
Nigel was one of the good ones, and the Island is greatly diminished by his death.