I have a hard time peeling myself away from the book I am reading to focus on this column. The book is called From the Ashes, and it is written by Jesse Thistle, presently an assistant professor of Metis Studies at York University in Toronto. The path that led him to where he is today though… OK, I will not spoil it for you. I am three quarters done and have shaken my head and winced more times than I could count since I started reading it. I had heard him sharing his story on the radio a couple of years ago while driving with my eldest to Harper Mountain. I wished then he’d write about it. He did.
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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.
Some people eat too much sugar and others watch too much TV. I read news and get too involved with it. It is good to stay current, no? Yes, but there is a darker side. Many of the stories are upsetting and often times there is no closure after a particularly heartbreaking one. I cover many in my columns, and then I keep on hoping that there will be some resolution, closure for victims and their families. Sadly, that is not the case. Oblivion is a horrible mistress and our faulty justice system enables it.
The first question I hear every time I walk into his room is ‘What are we going to do today?’. My answer is almost always the same, ‘we can read some, or do rhymes, but first I want you to tell me my name.’ He tries a couple of letters and eventually he guesses it right. We do a fist bump and then another. I tell him ‘you are amazing,’ and he smiles. You too, he says.
I first met Jessie last year on November 24th. I did not know what to expect. I had been following the story since it happened, back in June of 2016.
Many are welcoming the proposed new measures on vaping products. Others are resenting the tax hike (money grab, they say) and the reduced nicotine content might just drive them back to smoking, they argue. Let’s hope not.
Either way, it will be interesting to see if young people will vape less, or at all. Many still do, and age makes no difference. Nor does the location, as some kids vape right inside schools.
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