On Saturday, our neighbourhood was speckled with yellow all over: bags of food donations for the Foodbank. To say that the Kamloops community gave generously would be an understatement: 70,000 pounds of food, which should be ensuring the supply for the next six months, according to their Facebook page. Thank you to everyone who did not forget to stuff the yellow bags and big thanks to the volunteers who collected it all!
Category: Armchair Mayor Column Page 2 of 31
Many years ago, I found this piece of driftwood – a plank just wide enough and long enough to write a short something on, and that something was one of my favourite quotes by Dalai Lama and a principle I try to live by, ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ We have moved that piece of driftwood from one home to another and during many kids’ squabble I pointed to it as a reminder that kindness can be done, anytime, anywhere. A reminder for all, young and old, that is.
It was almost three weeks ago that I last saw Jessie Simpson, my every Sunday afternoon buddy. We parted with him asking ‘What are we going to do next week when you come?’ and I answered, ‘We’ll find something fun.’
A few days later, just like that, the world that contains him and the other vulnerable people in that long-term care facility closed its doors. Then everything happened faster than anyone could predict and here we are, all hunkered at home and wondering what’s next.
On a fateful day in 2012, somewhere on Salt Spring Island, a set of bad decisions ended up changing many people’s lives for the worst and ending one. Calder McCormick and Ryan Plambeck, then 17 and 18 years old respectively, left a house party in an advanced state of intoxication due to alcohol and marijuana, got in a car that was not theirs and crashed shortly after.
McCormick survived but suffered brain trauma which left him unable to pursue further education or even ride a bicycle, while Ryan Plambeck died at the scene of the crash. He was behind the wheel but did not have a valid driver’s license. Heartbreaking and yet preventable.
News travel fast. The controversial stories even faster, more so when they have a risqué edge. Such was the case of the story hailing from our very own ‘small town/big city’ as I like to affectionately refer to Kamloops. It was about a pub and a certain eyebrow-raising event and it got people talking.
It is hard to put into words the extent of the tragedy that has befallen the families and friends of the 176 people who died in the recent plane crash near Tehran. Worse yet was learning the latest about the Iranian surface-to-air missile that struck the plane down. Someone – human error or not – shot the plane down (yes, I know it’s not the first one, sadly.) One can hope that many of the painful questions that multiply with each day will find answers, but then again, that will not make up for lost lives.
I’d rather not drive on a day when the weather predictions call for heavy snowstorm. But we had already bought the tickets and it would have taken a lot to make us miss this unique performance. We left Kamloops by 6pm, aiming to arrive before 8pm when the show started. Near Armstrong, that is.
You may have guessed already that we were going to see a rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker by the Caravan Farm Theatre (the performance director was Manon Beaudoin.) A close friend saw one of the theatre’s performances last year and was charmed. She advised us to go if we have the chance. We knew the story but past that, we had no idea what to expect other than the fact that spectators were to be in horse-drawn sleighs for part of the show.