Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Thousand Words

More photos from the archives, pictures taken when I was a reporter with the Interlake Spectator:

Gypsumville School Science Day, March 1993. Derek Decker, Justin Kostelnyk and Tyla Turner building a newspaper tower during the Science Olympics. I didn't write this from memory, the newspaper "cutline" was written on the back!

This team calling themselves the "Hawks" came in last place, but had fun during the tug-of-war a the Stedman School Winterfest, March 1993.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Thousand Words

I have in a downstairs closet, three boxes of photos neatly divided by the approximate month they were taken, from the time I was a reporter between 1989 and 1996.

A few days ago I went through the boxes looking for pictures of Jean Postlethwaite, a friend who passed away, and I knew that because I'd written a few stories about her, that I would be sure to find something. And I did. What I didn't expect, was to find so many photos of friends, acquaintances and complete strangers, taken at numerous events over the years that I'd like to share. So I've decided to do just that.

Each Saturday from today forward, I will upload at least one photo from my archives with a cutline written from memory. Forgive the fact that these aren't award-winning photos and that I won't necessarily remember all the faces or the exact date, but it should be fun for north-Interlakers to engage in this blast from the past. Feel free to post on the blog if you know who is in the photo, add/correct my memory, or post your own remembrances of the event.

To start this off, I've included a few from the month of March in the early 1990s:

Every time I see this photo I can't help but smile. It was taken from the window at Nordheim Printing.
Not sure of the year (1994?), the Fisher Branch Blades beat the Lundar Falcons in the final game of the series to win the SIHL championship.

Helen Jeremy with a set of triplets, taken at their farm near Moosehorn. Again, early 1990s. If memory serves me correct, the calves were born naturally to this 13 year-old cow . . .

Thursday, March 21, 2013


“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been,
accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” 
- William Shakespeare

Jean Postlethwaite
 Yesterday I lost a good friend.

I spent the afternoon going through boxes of old photos taken while I was a reporter, looking for pictures of Jean. In the nine years I did that job (first with my own paper, then with the Interlake Spectator) I wrote about her a number of times, features that told the story of a determined entrepreneur with a kind spirit and generous heart. Over the years our friendship grew and she became a quiet mentor, someone I looked to for perspective and encouragement. 

Jean believed in me.

And I expect those same words rest in the hearts of everyone who knew her well.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Under the Dumb Plum Tree

Mom's Last Column
by Karen Emilson

I knew her so well.

She would have phoned me like she did every month to test that month's idea out; to see if I liked what she planned to write. Mom had a quirky sense of humour and could be very funny. She'd banter with me for awhile to get the juices flowing, then she'd sit down in front of her word processor.

In January 1993 she wanted to write about the New Year and how she made sure that all her resolutions were things she did anyway so that she'd be able to keep them. In her draft she talks about housecleaning and appliances and how fridges should come with automatic eject buttons. I can see where she was going with it, but the column is nowhere near complete.

I vaguely remember the phone call, how disappointed she sounded to hear that I'd shut down the paper. The former owner of Interlake Publishing (then Manager) Merv Farmer, offered me a job as a reporter so I took it. That is when my writing career really began, but Mom's ended. In the back of the scrapbook that holds all her columns is a draft letter to Canadian Living Magazine, asking if they might be interested in a housewife's column. It was  a letter she didn't have the courage to send.

Twenty years ago.

Two decades have slipped away since then and my life is barely recognizable. A few days ago I popped a home video in the recorder (yes, I still have a VCR) and pushed play. Over the years I have listened as people older than me exclaim how fast time goes, how naive and young they once were. Now that person is me. Watching myself at 28 I am overwhelmed by the twists and turns since then, the joy and disappointment, grief and loss.

As I watched young me look into the camera, old me remembers how it felt to be so filled with impatience and optimism, so exuberant about life—living without fear—expecting the next great thing to happen. Excitement propelled me out of bed in the morning. I made so many mistakes I don't even know what half of them were.

Months after I shut down my paper, my mother-in-law died. It was heartbreaking for us all as she was the life force in the family. So many mothers are. Often not given much credit until they are gone, it's the mother who holds it all together.

I am told that the secret to living a full life is to do so fearlessly.

If I live to the same age as my mother, I will die at 69.

Twenty years from now.