From Where I Sit – My Kind of Town

After I graduated from high school eons ago the logical location for post-secondary studies was Edmonton. Edmonton was only an hour away. I was interested in the field of social work but the only degree program in Alberta was at the University of Calgary. Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton had a two-year diploma program and seemed like the perfect compromise.

It was 1972, after all; the world was a lot smaller then and besides, I was in love! Could I move to Calgary for four years and leave Roy behind? Hardly.

So out of convenience and necessity Edmonton became my kind of town. I attended college there and got my first jobs there. I lived in two different basement suites near the 118th Avenue GMC campus. Then as now, the area was a bit seamy.

After Roy and I got married we lived in an apartment suite on 107 Avenue and 108 Street. It was on the flight path of the municipal airport and a couple of blocks from the ambulance headquarters. It was not a quiet time in our lives but we were young and apparently could sleep through almost anything.

Even after Roy got the call of the land and we moved back home to Andrew to begin farming, Edmonton remained our town. We’ve gravitated to the city for specialty health services, continuing education opportunities, shopping, and recreational pursuits. Both kids attended college and university there. Hilary lives there while Greg is in nearby Sherwood Park.

Through the years I’ve been a faithful reader of the Edmonton Journal and a viewer of local TV. That media link has kept me in touch with ?my city.? I’ve watched with interest all the political goings-on.

I saw Edmonton’s first female mayor, Jan Reimer; smiling Bill Smith; and currently Stephen Mandel lead the city through good times and bad. I think Mandel is the right guy in the right place and when I had the chance to meet him I told him as much. I’m sure he sleeps much better knowing some non-taxpayer country bumpkin approves of his leadership!

Besides politics I’ve gotten caught up in breaking news: the abduction of Punky Gustavson, the killer Black Friday tornado, the debate over the new art gallery design, the extension of the Anthony Henday, the state of the Oilers, lost dogs, missing seniors, shootings and stabbings, the beating of Dougald Miller. Or today’s 13 ATB employees sharing in the $49 million lottery win. I’ve cheered or cried as these events have unfolded because I am invested in the well-being of this town.

I watch the growth and progress of my town and decry those developments I don’t agree with. I curse the potholes and adapt to the ever increasing traffic. I admire the volunteerism and generosity of the people. I recognize that despite its population Edmonton, in some ways, still has a small-town vibe and know That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Edmonton is a fine place, from where I sit.