Good memories will get us through - Denny Scott editorial
While both my editor Shawn and I have shared some of the bad experiences we have had as journalists over the past few weeks in our editorial spaces, I hope that everyone realizes that the good outweighs the bad by a significant amount, otherwise, we wouldn’t both still be doing this after more than a decade.
All it takes is one of the special sections that we’ve been doing to be reminded of the incredible responsibility and the incredible joy of being a journalist in rural Ontario.
As a means of keeping local events in the back of your minds, readers, we’ve started creating celebratory special sections for big events in the area that have been cancelled or heavily modified due to COVID-19.
You have already seen the Huron County Plowing Match special section, no doubt framed and hung on your wall to tell your grandchildren about someday, and we’re currently working away on the section for the cancelled reunion of the Huron County Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association.
In doing these special sections, Shawn and I have been poring over past stories we’ve done to see what we can update to show just how special and important these events are and remind people that, come next year, we can hopefully all look forward to them again.
Not every story makes the cut, but that doesn’t mean those stories aren’t important or memorable to us.
Take, for example, the story about the featured cars of the reunion you will be able to read very soon.
We limited it to the five most recent past feature cars because Shawn and I figured that would be all we could fit if we wanted to run a couple photos, but there are memorable stories outside of that five-year period.
Take, for example, one of the first Threshers stories I did about a car that was rescued from an island where a tree had grown up through it. After extricating the car from the tree, the new owners then had to move it across a frozen body of water in the winter to get it off the island safely. There aren’t too many stories like that around.
Heck, stories from the Threshers are probably some of the most memorable (in a good way) I’ve written. Whether it’s talking to the organizers, both new and seasoned, or the people who won best-in-show for their steam engines, tractors or cars, there’s always a unique story to tell when it comes to how those antique wonders came to be in Blyth.
Then there are the annual stories where, even if things haven’t changed much, there’s always something new to be added, like the Courtney family corn roast, an annual tradition known to locals and well-versed reunion attendees.
Aside from the stories, there’s also covering the event and, while not every story is a good news story the weekend of the Threshers (there’s been a fire or two, for example), almost all the memories I have are good ones. Of course I’ve enjoyed taking my daughter to the event and getting pictures of her enjoying things (only one of which has ever made it in the paper I think), but then there are other experiences that, over 10 reunions, have become favourite hallmarks that I would’ve missed had I been working anywhere else.
Between the straw hats, the corn, the rest of the great food and the parades, there are plenty of great memories at the Threshers. In fact, I could write more than an entire column based on those good memories. I could probably write an entire section about them.
That should show you how fortunate I feel to be able to continue to work for The Citizen and cover events like that.
Next, Shawn and I will turn our attention to the annual Brussels Fall Fair which can’t take place as it normally does due to COVID-19, though there is a parade planned.
There are a lot of good memories for me at that event as well, and only a few of them were tied to the carnival fare that was offered at the midway (candied apples are hard to replace).
Between watching the annual 4-H programs, catching a photo of the Ambassador (and now the Junior and Little Ambassadors) on a pedal tractor every year, enjoying a hot dog meal that reminds me of public school and, of course, taking in the parade, there’s another ton of memories I look forward to every year.
So avail yourselves of the great memories that both Shawn and I are sharing when we delve into the previous stories and photos that will make up these special sections and know that, while there are a few bumps in the road, we’re still here because we love what we’re doing.