Thanks for all the memories and great stories



While I was browsing through all the messy and tattered files and boxes in my tiny computer room office last week, I sat back and realized just how lucky I am to be able to keep on writing after retirement. Along the way for the past few years I have really enjoyed chasing down and putting together more than 300 Reflections of Ponoka features, lots of Remember When photos, and more of the Hammer’s Columns than I can dare to remember.

By far the biggest treat of all these assignments has been getting to meet and visit so many great people and interesting characters and none of it would have been possible without the delightful ideas and excellent support that I have received from so many sources in and around Ponoka. With the blessing of the Ponoka News, the ongoing patience of the congenial ladies at the Fort Ostell Museum, and your story ideas, I would love to keep these features going for as long as I am able.

Many of our stories have followed the proud and colourful history of our community and surrounding districts over the past century, including the families, individuals, milestones, and events that have contributed to our successes and growth from both the business and the fun side. We have also written about the longstanding efforts of community groups, clubs, teams, and organizations, as well as highlighting reunions and special causes, or featured such subjects as hobbies, or the personal experiences and achievements people who really deserve a little recognition.

All photos contributed are scanned and returned, while the casual coffee and cookie interviews can be conducted at your home, business, or the Ponoka News. If you have a story idea, good clean joke, special message, or some old glossy photos, please let me know so that we can share them with our readers. You are always welcome to call me at 403-341-5750, email:, or leave a message at the Ponoka News.

Summer send off musical festival coming to town

I see that the Ponoka Stampede Association is still celebrating its 75th Anniversary by co-hosting a gala music festival up at the grounds on Sept. 2 and 3. Renowned international entertainers all ready signed for this family fun event will include Deric Ruttan, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, and Aaron Pritchett, with other great talent to follow. Tickets for this great outdoor weekend concert and camping are available at or get updated information at

Some advice from a billionaire

Microsoft icon Bill Gates, who many are touting as the next American president, has certainly been most successful financially, and here are some of the wise rules and tidbits of advice he offers to high school students as they plan for their careers and successes in the future.

• Life is not fair, so get used to it.

• The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourselves.

• You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be an instant vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

• If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

• Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents have a different word for those first humble jobs: they called it opportunity.

• If you mess up, it’s not your parent’s fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

• Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, loving you, and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you try to save the world, show them your appreciation and clean up your own room first.

• Adult life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. You will have to do that on your own time.

• Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

• Always be nice to nerds. Chances are you may end up working for one.

• When you hopefully reach that wonderful milestone of your graduation, please take some time during the celebrations to thank your teachers.

Now is the time to really work on that tan, hopefully all the way through September so get out there and have a great week, all of you!