By Tim Kalinowski
Well, there is no easy way to say it. This will be my final column as a reporter with the 40 Mile Commentator/ Cypress Courier. It’s been a load of a fun and a fascinating journey this past year and a half. However, when the Medicine Hat News comes calling to offer you a good job at a higher rate of pay with regular hours, it’s a pretty easy decision to make to move over and make the switch. That’s pragmatically, of course. On the emotional side, it’s not so cut and dry.
I think as we go into the Christmas season, and into a new and hopeful year, southeast Alberta has a lot to be thankful for. There is so much potential here, and so much to celebrate. It has been a real pleasure to see our local citizens digging in, gutting it out and moving ahead with determined optimism despite the challenges we have been facing.
And what is the role of a newspaper in all of that? We are at all times a conduit for our local advertisers, of course, but, more importantly, a voice for hope, truth and optimism amongst a storm of circumstances.
Many of you know I grew up on a farm in southwest Saskatchewan. There, I had very close relationship with my grandparents, who were children of the 1930s. I always knew in my life, whatever I faced, it would pale in comparison to what they had come through as children in the heart of the Great Depression.
And those bleak times had left their mark upon them, but not in any way you might expect. My grandparents were not wounded birds flying broken-winged through the world, but rather at their core there was a toughness, a resilience and an unfailing sense of faith and optimism. I learned this point of view on their knee and at their table.
I also learned to love what they loved. The old sponsored radio hours, the old timey tramp music and simple Gospel songs which underpinned their world. Songs like: “He’s in the jailhouse now,” “You are my sunshine,” “We’ll meet again,” “The White Cliffs of Dover,” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” I used to listen to the magnificent Jim Reeves croon out his heartsick love song on their record player: “Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone.”
These songs and voices spoke of the tough days we all face in our lives, but also offered a simple statement at their heart: We will get through this, and we’ll get through this together. As I say my farewell, I wish to convey this same message to our readers.
I will not be traveling far— in fact, I am not even changing desks. We will see you over on the other side; if you are so inclined. God Bless. And Merry Christmas!