Reflecting on my career as a journalist I see the days and weeks and months and years unfolding, turning slowly just like the many pages of the newspaper, itself.
Each newspaper I was lucky enough to be part of had its own special personality.
One of those newspapers was the Lacombe Globe.
Yesterday, someone phoned me to share the news of the paper’s demise.
“You used to work there so I thought you’d like to know,” she said.
“Yes I did work there,” I replied, “a long time ago.”
It is true that I have worked for several papers since I left the Globe, but, oh my goodness, those days of being a reporter at The Globe are days I will never forget.
They say you remember moments. For me, memories of the Globe are a kaleidoscope of moments.
I remember the first day I walked in for my interview and I absolutely fell in love with the office.
It looked like a newspaper office. It smelled like one and, to me, it felt like one. It seemed like its very walls were seeped in newspaper ink going way back to the days of hot lead.
I remember thinking I would be so lucky to work here.
And so I sat in Allan (Butch) Treleaven’s glass walled office complete with roll-top desk, nervously clutching my resume and my portfolio while the editor/publisher/owner interviewed me. He didn’t seem overly impressed, but for some reason, which, perhaps, neither of us understood at the time, he hired me.
I was ever so grateful and determined to prove myself.
And so began a six-year journey of journalism with a whole bunch of life lessons thrown in for good measure at The Lacombe Globe.
My job was to cover council, write stories, write editorials, take pictures, roll negatives, develop negatives, help lay out the paper, proof read, meet deadlines and then start all over again.
In the days when I was one of the threads that made up the colourful tapestry of The Lacombe Globe, I shared my job with the editor, a sports reporter, two girls at the front, sales people and production staff.
I grew to love them all.
Those were the days when I was young enough to call other people old.
I don’t do that anymore, because, if the truth be known, most old people are younger than me.
But, anyways there was a gentleman at the Globe who was somewhat older than me. His name was Jim and he was a gruff newspaper guy who liked to quote the poetry of Robert Service when we went for drinks at ‘the other office.’
When he was standing at the light table with exacto knife in hand, he told me more than once that “editorial was just there to fill the white space between the ads.”
I’m not sure why we became friends. I guess there’s just something about newspaper ink that stamps some of us with the an invisible bond of friendship.
And I’m grateful for that.
And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, years ago when I was lucky enough to receive my very first newspaper award, I wished with all my heart he was still alive so I could share my brief moment of glory with him.
For some reason, I knew he would be proud of me.
My memories of my days at the Globe are laced with laughter, ordering Kentucky Fried Chicken (after deadline), slipping away to the other office (usually after deadline) and wonderful friendships. I also remember light tables, exacto knives and hours in the dark room rolling negatives and making prints.
One time I accidentally put my negatives in the wrong solution and they all came out blank. Terrified to let my editor know, I remember asking a friend, in sheer desperation, to stage some photos for me.
He did. And I made deadline and no one was any the wiser.
Until now, that is.
One of the ladies that I was fortunate enough to share laughter and deadlines and drinks with, at the other office, passed away several years ago.
She was an incredible lady with a smile and a manner that could charm anyone, even the most unhappy customer.
As it turned out, she and I both had daughters the same age.
Our girls became friends.
And, even though they are both grown up and married with children now, those girls have stayed close friends, just like their mothers were years ago when we were both part of that wonderful, crazy world of the Lacombe Globe.
It is horribly sad and heart wrenching that the Globe will close its doors.
But, on a brighter note, it is pretty cool that the friendships forged in those days have continued on into the next generation.
And, even though the newspaper will be put to bed for the very last time soon, the life lessons and the memories made during the days when the next edition of The Lacombe Globe was only just a headline away, will never, ever die.
And I, for one, will be forever grateful that, once a long time ago, I worked there.