Prince Albert Voice
There's an interesting story behind almost everything we see and if you follow my social media page you know I see a lot of different things on my journey. Recently, if your adventures bring you through the doors of our local community arena, the Art Hauser Centre, you've likely spotted the more than lifesize picture of the Prince Albert Raiders on those big west-facing windows. You know - the Prince Albert Raiders, champions of the 2018-2019 Western Hockey League? That picture is monumental for our city. The image captures a moment when a team of young men stood together and celebrated a victory they trained their lives for; that fraction of time where a city stood proud and thousands of fans celebrated accomplishment and legacy; a single moment captured by one single lens.
It's been over a year since I left my career with the Correctional Service of Canada. I've had many high moments throughout the course of this year and I can't say with any certainty that I miss the place but what I can say is working with criminals in such a dark and timeless environment for so long lead me to a place in my mind that was very difficult to leave which is why I actively sought ways to literally get out of jail. In as much as I would like to agree that a penitentiary is very much about time; my experience was quite the opposite. Time stood still. Life outside the walls goes on - change comes and goes like the seasons - but inside it's a very different world where change means resistance and potential for violence. It did a number on my mental health and I knew it was time to go.
Today, as I sit and reflect on my son's 16th birthday and the city-wide power outage, I was reminded of a friend who pointed out a very humorous but serious story about the driving conditions at intersections when there are no traffic lights to direct traffic. Herein lies a good teachable moment.
Many years ago, in my mid twenties, my father took my brother and I out on a beautiful fall day and we scoured the riverbank for diamond willow. We were on the hunt for these magical sticks that would be turned into walking/hiking sticks. We spent a couple hours looking and although there is a lot more to the story, I ended up finding one that I liked and it came home with me. My Dad taught me how to peel the old lichen filled bark away from the stick which exposed the multicoloured wood and diamond-like shapes. He showed me how to sand it down to get a smooth finish. I suppose the last step would have been to apply some type of finishing coat on it but we never did get that far. I still have that stick which sits in my house and acts as a hat holder but it reminds me of my father every time I look at it.
For those of you who were not able to make it, the weekend at Smoke Show 2019 turned out incredibly successful and the results we produced stretched far beyond what I hoped for. Although it was a massive undertaking where I needed to orchestrate the happenings of many people and activities, I acknowledge I could not have done it without the support and guidance of several people in my life.