By Wayne Litke
I have been cleaning up old paperwork which was tossed into boxes when we changed business locations. My wife calls it sorting through my old crap that should be tossed without looking inside, but it’s more like tripping down memory lane. Every time I open a box I find unknown stuff that takes me back five, 10 and even 15 years.
For example, I found a mound of sticky or post-it notes with information regarding people to phone (such as the head of SAAN stores since the outlet in Maple Creek would be closing), places to be, orders to fill and film and photo processing instructions. There was a note to phone Phyllis Armstrong and Canada Post because her paper delivery was erratic, receipts for numerous lunches the company had not paid for, a memo stating the town’s insurance would cover Chamber of Commerce bed races, as well as numerous notes on website passwords, computers, printers and solution to ongoing technical problems.
At the bottom of one box was a calculator bearing the label “super-thin.” However, it is definitely anything but thin by today’s standards as it’s about a centimeter thick. Another interesting find was a spike, bolt and nut from the railway that was decommissioned at Fox Valley. I am not certain why I carted the souvenirs home, but it was going to join a spike from the Fish Creek Bridge for some type of display (that was never built).
There was also a counter-terrorism calendar (2008) which I wrote about previously. It still fascinates in a disturbing fashion with its information on explosive, biological, chemical and radioactive weapons, bomb-threat stand-off distances, and radical groups and their members for which a reward is offered. There are many to catch and the price on most of their heads is up to $5 million, so I may have to get a sheriff’s badge and start a new career so I can afford to retire.
I also found a note that reporter Marcia Love left in the kitchen while she was staying with us five years ago when she first arrived at Maple Creek. I teased her publicly about it back then and still find it humourous. Her note states:
“Dearest Angela and/or Wayne”:
Your daughter called while you were out . . . which was good because she explained to me how to turn off your space-age stove.
P.S. – I burned my bacon, so it smells like burned bacon in here.”
We had purchased a new electric stove at the time, but it had regular turn-style (rotary) controls for each element, so I wasn’t sure what she meant by “space-age stove.” Marcia seemed far too young to be familiar with a wood or coal stove that has a fire box, so her note still makes me wonder what type of hot plate or campfire she cooked on at home. To her credit she not only mastered the stove-top controls, she also operates the oven quite competently now.
An old notebook had info from the days Eddie Sanderson and Harley Pollock were coaching high school baseball. I had recorded their names along with other information on photographs, stories, advertisers and people to contact in 2000. That was when First Avenue North was going to be paved – it seems like ancient history now.
Anyways, an unsual record in my notebook caught my eye. It stated Louis Ternes had found a letter in the back of his pickup truck box (Monday) after a huge wind blasted the area. It was from Hunter Rose of 565 Cherry Tree Road, Smithville (EM4-6379). It was addressed to Miss Roberta Moore of 45 Pine Tree Road, Cornerbrook, Nfld. According to other notations in my notebook, the letter would have been found in May, 2000. What makes it all the more interesting is the date of the postmark on the letter was Oct. 8, 1963. How did a letter that was almost 37 years old blow into the back of a truck in the middle of the Prairies?
Those were extremely busy years and I cannot recall if the letter Louis found was ever mentioned in a news brief, so I am mentioning it now because it still fascinates me and will give people something to talk about other than the weather.
The pocketbook also had notes on present and future events such as:
• the possibility of an energy company drilling an exploratory gas well on the outskirts of Maple Creek
• Pioneer elevators being demolished at Robsart, Webb and Swift Current
• the opening of Maple Creek’s first Internet café: Kookamungus
• a grassfire near Walsh, Alta.
• a letter-writing campaign at Sidney Street School
• and notes on baseball games including plays by Sean Lerner, Sean Wheeler, Kirk Bacsu, Mark Andreas, Eric Sanderson, Brett Lund and Shaun Cameron.
Jumping forward to 2015, guess who came to visit from her beloved hometown of Calgary for the purpose of watching the Super Bowl in Maple Creek. Yes, former reporter Monique Massiah returned to watch the game and soak up a bunch of verbal teasing at the hands of her friends. I think she really misses everyone here or she would not have returned and taken such punishment – two days in a row. On that note, I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend and had a great Family Day.