COLUMN: Looking for laughs in Ladysmith

For reasons beyond my limited scope, I’ve been blessed to work with some of the best in the biz

As Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks sang so succinctly back in ‘69, “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”

That tune was bouncing around the barren regions of my brain as I headed up Island for five weeks of work keeping the throne warm at the Ladysmith newspaper until the new editor arrives.

Since this would mark the longest I’ve been away from the bride in many years, I thought it best to check with her before accepting the gig, but she was too busy packing my bags.

Barely 18 months into my so-called semi-retirement, I can now add the Chronicle to the growing list of Black Press papers I work for that includes, in order, the Goldstream News Gazette, the Sooke News Mirror, the Saanich News and the Oak Bay News.

It’s fair comment to say that I’ve turned into one of those contract wordslingers; this phrase for hire.

Due to my stone age computer skills, however, I have never seen my name attached to a masthead in the spot reserved for editor until last week.

There’s a long list of editors I’ve worked with who will be reeling and retching at the very thought of ever stumbling across a copy of any form of publication that lists me that way, unless it was done in crayon.

Speaking of editors, my new-found sources in Ladysmith insist that the Sooke News Mirror’s own Kevin Laird launched his journey into journalism here back in the day. Other real deal talented editors who have worn out the seat I’m sitting on include Mitch Wright, Andrew Topf and Edward (don’t call me Ted unless we’re friends) Hill.

My original mentor and good friend Keith Norbury, who bore the brunt of my mistake-plagued early years at the Gazette, worked at the paper in Duncan for many years, a short sprint down the highway.

For reasons beyond my limited scope, I’ve been blessed to work with some of the best in the biz in less than a generation, or roughly half of that time frame in reporter years.

We’ll leave whether they were digging into the bottom of the barrel at hiring time or not as a topic for another day, but I do want to give a huge shout-out to Melissa Fryer, the real Chronicle editor who works at the Nanaimo News Bulletin. I couldn’t do this without her patience, expertise, layout skills and sense of humor.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

Sooke Road will be down to a single lane Thursday night while crews work on a water main connection. (Pixabay stock image)
Sooke Road down to single lane for water main connection

Night work scheduled for Thursday, early Friday morning

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

(Black Press Media file photo)
Crash at Saanich, Victoria border results in non-life-threatening injuries

Cause remains under investigation, impairment not a factor, VicPD says

From Feb. 25 to April 30, the Galloping Goose Trail will be reduced to a single lane between Gorge Road East and Burnside Road East for a Capital Regional District sewer line renewal project. (Map via the Capital Regional District)
CRD sewer work brings delays to Galloping Goose Trail

Parts of trail, Cecelia Ravine Park impacted until April 30

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read