Published: December 21, 2016
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
There is an ex-boyfriend from my 20s that loved (and I am sure still loves) the Tragically Hip. In the span of a year and a half I saw the group perform three and half times (I went to more shows than that but I often can only see the back of the guy standing in front of me). We listened to group almost daily.
A decade and a half later I had really fallen out of like with the band. And yet in August I was in a lawn chair surrounded by friends with CBC radio playing the year’s most iconic concert. I am sure diehard fans would have called us disrespectful as we basically talked right through the music and I would tend to agree except for this. At the end of the show we all knew what song the band ended with because although we were laughing and carrying on, each of us was running through the extensive catalog of music in our mind, which sometimes lead to one of us, reminiscing about the memories the songs brought back.
Our first edition back after a holiday break is always one of reflection on the year past. The person in my job is tasked with going through a year’s worth of stories, photos and online posts to identify the high- and low- lights. As in previous years there are so many to choose from.
For me personally, besides being the Year of the Hip it was also a year of “unbelievables.” I walked around for months this summer in a daze thinking ‘I can’t believe we got married.’ As I am coming off a three month run of really, really long days I think: ‘I can’t believe I came back to journalism.’ As I watch television at night I think: ‘I can’t believe we are saying President-Elect Trump’. Sidebar: Did you know the first US presidential debate in September saw nearly two million concurrent viewers around the world? Americans weren’t the only ones that wanted a ringside seat to the political battle of the century.
Looking more locally I also ‘can’t believe’ I have written no less than four stories on the Red Lake Area Emergency Shelter this year and each time the details were different but the story was the same – there is not enough money coming through to give staff and users comfort. It is the first week of January and we are all filled with the belief that the changing in the calendar will reset the clock, launch new beginnings and new adventures. My New Years wish is to write one story in 2017 that says enough funding is in hand to keep the place going for the year to give piece of mind to those who continue to shout into the continued vacuum.
The year ahead is definitely going to be filled with adventure. Red Lake’s local government is facing the New Year with decreased tax revenue and tighter fiscal restraints. We have a junior hockey team that needs to kick its December blues and find a winning spirit. Despite continued warnings drinking and driving continues to be an issue in the district. In Ear Falls residents continue to express displeasure over the cost of essential services – and that’s just January.
Revitalization was the buzzword for 2016. What is 2017 going to bring?