Let’s not dump on The Comox Valley Record. I may have forgotten to press ‘send’ when I submitted my letter re: Ronna-Rae Leonard last week.

Okay. So the lesson for today is not to forget to press ‘send’. I’m not positive that’s what happened but Terry Farrell, the editor of The Record swears they never got my letter and I believe him. Next time, if there is a next time, I will send it directly to Terry’s email address and probably call him to confirm that he got it!

Some folks posted disparaging remarks about The Record on Facebook because in my blog post I wrote: “My letter was not published. I don’t know why…” In doing so, I chose my words carefully so as not to blame The Record directly for not publishing my letter. Some people interpreted my words as an attack on The Record. They were not intended to be and if I’ve caused Terry Farrell and The Record undue stress, I apologize.

In hindsight, I did wonder why the paper didn’t pick up my letter. I should have picked up the phone at that moment and called Terry to confirm whether or not he had received my letter although, in my defence, I thought that Terry was out of town collecting a Ma Murray award for editorial excellence and that was maybe why it hadn’t been picked up. Just goes to show you, assumptions can be completely unfounded and we can all be fallible…even me!

So, sorry if I may have prompted some of you to dump on The Record. It was no doubt unfounded in this case. That doesn’t mean we should give the paper an easy ride. Newspapers, although privately owned, have a responsibility to the public to report the news accurately and in a timely fashion. I’m sure Terry would agree with that. He didn’t win the Ma Murray for nothing.

All this said, I don’t retract for one moment the content of my letter. My original blog post containing my wayward letter and the following post stand as written. Furthermore, I don’t intend to let this issue just fade away.

We need good quality, safe and affordable housing in this Valley and not just for the people with lots of money. If we don’t believe we’re all in this together and that we have a responsibility to every member of our community, we’re deluding ourselves and setting ourselves up for serious discord and social breakdown.

 

Six score and ten

So, tomorrow I turn 70 years of age. Never thought I’d make 26. I had a bad way of destroying vehicles when I was a kid. Reckless driving and being a crazy teenager were the contributing factors. When I turned 23 I sort of came to my senses. I had been brain damaged for the previous 5 years following a car crash. Not a pleasant period in my life. At 23 I returned to school (Douglas College) and eventually went to Simon Fraser University, graduated with a BA in 1976 and an MA in 1981, both degrees in sociology.

A couple of years later I got a job teaching at North Island College after living in what we often referred to ‘sessional hell’ whereby we were hired on contract, one term at a time. No hint of job security.

Got married in 1973. Smart move on my part. Still married 43 years later. Smart move on my part. Not all smooth going. Still, we, Carolyn and I, have a great family and we still kind of love each other. We can still engage in home renovations without killing each other. That’s pretty good. We do a lot of things together. We are best friends, I think. Carolyn would have to comment on her side of the bargain.

Seventy years! That’s a long time. But it doesn’t really feel like it. The passing of time is strange. I don’t think about the past much. I do pay some attention to what I’ve learned in my discipline over the years. Sociology, both as a student and as a teacher, has allowed me to think deeply about the world we live in, our social and economic relations. It has also made me a lonely boy in a sense because I can’t share my ‘learnings’ in a meaningful way with many people, at least not like when I was still teaching. Since I’ve retired, I’ve published posts in this blog, have done some art work and have been busy with volunteer work. What I know and do is irrelevant to most people. I know that. I’m not indispensable nor special. But, it matters not. I live on. And now into old age.

I find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that I am 70 years old. But whatever, I’ll get over it soon. I’m committed to doing a drawing a day for 30 days. That keeps me busy just thinking about it! DOING is the key to my wellbeing, even if I have to do it while in pain most of the time. Just get over it, body! Carry on.