Thank you so much for the wonderful memories, Rocky View Weekly
There was a time in recent history when I did not think I wanted to retire. But circumstance changed my position with the Rocky View Weekly into a part-time, stay-at-home job and that taste of freedom allayed my fears of boredom and made me yearn for more.
Twenty-four years ago this month, I left my job as Irricana Town secretary to move down the street to the ‘paper place’ as we knew it then - a family business that produced the Rocky View Weekly, The Carstairs Courier and the Wheel and Deal. I soon fell in love with typesetting and editing and eventually, when the opportunity to write local news and editorials opened up, I found my real passion.
Despite the face of the company changing over the years, several of the original employees who were there when I started are still there. Whether this is testament to their loyalty, or testament to the quality of the company itself, I am not sure. Some of both I suspect.
To all things there is a season, however, and it is time for younger people with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to fill my spot. The shiny new pension cheque that came with my last birthday will help keep the wolf from our door and I am very happy to be leaving behind a rewarding work experience that spanned such a huge part of my working life.
We at the newspaper have always been a close group, and there is no doubt spending that much time together for so many years let us get to know some pretty intimate details about each others’ lives, our hopes and dreams, and over the years, deep friendships were forged.
We were never a hen house, as a client once said, we were a chick house. We produced some pretty impressive work. One week in particular, I remember several of us working day and evening and over five days produced a 96-page spring Wheel and Deal as well as our regular publications, with - by today’s standards - some fairly primitive tools. Original cut and paste was done with an exacto knife and hot wax, not a keyboard. That year, and the next, our hard work was rewarded with some play time when all the staff and their families were taken for some R and R to the Kananaskis Lodge just prior to Christmas. Yes, I have many wonderful memories of my time at the Rocky View Weekly.
Memories of laughter including bloopers such as a heading that slipped through “Peasant breeding farm” instead of “Pheasant breeding farm” and a classified ad that offered “100-year-old chickens for sale. Reason for selling? Sickness.” And still another, “Parachute for sale. Used once. Small stain.”
There are also memories of sad times that brought us closer such as when a member of our work ‘family’ would lose a loved one, have a sick child or some other type of family crisis.
Memories of the amazingly compassionate way my co-workers filled in for me when I had cancer and the treatments made me too sick to work. Their kindness during that time I will never forget.
As I write these final words and begin a new chapter of my life, I have to say that above all else, I worked with a great team who enjoyed excellent leadership. My memories of yesterday will last a lifetime. I may be leaving work behind, but I will never leave the friendships.
Jessica Wallace will be taking over my work with the Rocky View Weekly at Beiseker and Irricana council meetings and my wonderful customers will now be taken care of by Devonn Drossel. These ladies are professionals, good at their job and my hope for them is that they find the job as rewarding as I have.
I will miss work, but retirement is the right thing for me at this time. May God bless everyone who touched my life through my work at the Rocky View Weekly.