“Did it strike you as interesting that, almost 40 years to the day since you started at the paper, you were covering a story a block and a half away?” Syd asked me on the weekend.
I hadn’t thought about it, but it’s true that, Friday night, I spent about three hours at a crime scene on Tranquille Road, just a short walk away from 309 Tranquille Road, the little building that housed the Kamloops News Advertiser when I started work there in 1970.
As reporter Michele Young and I nosed about trying to find people who knew something about the police shooting of 50-year-old Wilbert Bartley, one of those we talked to was Rob Phillips, who owns the car wash and gas bar where the shooting took place.
Rob’s been in business there for a long time and he remembered when I and others from the News Advertiser would stroll down Tranquille Road to a coffee shop called Eva’s. We reminisced briefly about those days, in between talking about the terrible shooting incident.
In many ways, Tranquille Road is the same quaint shopping street it was four decades ago, but it, and Kamloops, have grown tremendously.
Today, Aug. 3, is the actual anniversary date of my start at the paper. I’m taking the day off, not in celebration, but only because I needed a day off and it worked out that way. I’m not sure it’s a good idea — it seems as though I should be there on this day.
On the other hand, it’ll give me a chance for some quiet reflection on the past 40 years.