By Sue Tiffin
Published April 6 2016
Things have changed a bit since the last time I started writingfrom the offices of the Haliburton County Echo . It was Marchthen too but it was 21 years ago in 1996.
According to that week’s Echo Mr. Holland’s Opus was beingheld over for the second weekend at the Molou Theatre. Wings were 25cents at the Moose Bar and Grill at the Wigamog. The Echo office itself was in a completely different location – nestled intothe corner of York and Maple rather than overlooking the lake onHighland Street.
The picture taken of me on my first day as an HHSS co-op studentshows a nervous 17-year-old sitting in Martha Perkins’s office nextto a desk with a now-ancient Macintosh computer and a photo of mybaby nephew. He’s not such a baby anymore – he’s now five yearsolder than I was at that time – and his photo has been replacedwith screenshots of toddlers of my own.
Some things haven’t changed so much really. The profile I wrotethen details my busy extracurricular life as a highland dancer anddrama club actress. Now I still stuff my spare time full byvolunteering for the Minden Hills events committee Festival ofBanners committee Cultural Centre Foundation and annual Catch theCure event. I do still act from time to time and I can still do afling if plied with a few adult beverages first.
At the start of my co-op placement I planned to channel my innateinterest in people and their contributions into a profile columnabout local students. Now as I begin maternity leave coverage for Echo reporter Angelica Ingram I’m almost finishedconducting interviews for a book I’m writing that chronicles thelives of people living in Haliburton County. It turns out that peoplein this place are still fascinating.
Rereading the profile makes me think of the way choices can impacta life’s course.
After I misused the high school photocopier after hours toself-publish a story I had written it was then-principal GaryBrohman who first disciplined my actions and then suggested I becomea writer.
That’s why I found myself training at the Echo ratherthan working as a teaching assistant at JDHES. I write back then ofconsidering the journalism program at Centennial College or RyersonUniversity – with Martha’s influence I followed in herfootsteps to Ryerson.
Had I been elsewhere I might not have met my husband of 13 yearsJustin and without a degree we might not have been able to teach inKorea for nearly a decade after university before returning home tothe Highlands in 2014.
If I hadn’t resigned from the Highlander last yeararound this time I might not have been available when the Echo asked me to help keep Angelica’s seat warm for the next fewmonths coming full-circle two decades later.
Then you could probably reach me only by phone. Now I’maccessible by office phone cellphone or email( email@example.com ).
Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to catch up or ifyou want to fill me in on what’s been happening.