One of my favourite jobs in the winter is preparing our Prince Albert Raiders poster pages that ran from early November to the end of January in every Friday’s Daily Herald.
I love shooting hockey games so my focus early in the season is getting good isolation shots of each of the players. I also write the questions that each of the young men has to answer.
It’s an interesting experience seeing what trips them up. Some hesitated when asked what their favourite pizza was. Most had trouble naming their favourite sport other than hockey and favourite non-hockey athlete.
In the spirit of fairness, I’ll answer the questions that I can with some slight modifications because I’m not a WHL player.
• Nickname in the room: Perry, but I sign my emails pb
• Cats or dogs: Dogs
• Mac or PC: Mac
• Chicken or steak: Chicken
• Music, TV or movies: Music
• Favourite kind of pizza: Pepperoni and bacon
• Favourite sport after hockey: Triathlon
• Favourite non-hockey athlete: Chrissie Wellington (retired Ironman triathlete)
• Favourite comedian: Jeremy Hotz
• Favourite actor and actress: John Cusack and Jodie Foster
• What you miss most about home: My mother’s cooking, the comfortable feeling of being at home and sitting around spending time with my parents.
• How old were you when you started playing hockey: Four
• Best thing about being a journalist: It provides me a front-row seat for all kinds of terrific events and a degree of accessibility to decision-makers that is astonishing. In two years in Prince Albert I’ve seen a lot of things in a lot of different buildings involving a lot of different groups and people. I never take it for granted.
• Best non-Raider goalie in the WHL: As a former goalie I say Eetu Laurikainen of Swift Current
• Favourite team to watch: That’s an easy one. After spending 22 years in Brandon, I love watching the Wheat Kings skate into the Art Hauser Centre.
• • •
Last weekend, the Bergsons headed down to Saskatoon for a two-day getaway.
While my wife teased that I had to leave my cellphone in the car, I was allowed to drag it around as we shopped and looked around the city.
It’s been many years since I’ve been there for any length of time and I’m forever shocked by the magnitude of its growth when I drive through Saskatoon
I think they’ve done an excellent job with the freeways in the city; you can move around Saskatoon fairly quickly. We did take some -- ahem -- detours a couple of times that had us on neighbourhood streets and there were ruts that you could lose a pickup truck in.
But I like the city.
It’s grown a lot but it feels like it’s been reasonably well managed. We ate in a couple of my favourite restaurant chains that aren’t currently in business in Prince Albert and saw some pretty country along the river.
While I wish the high school basketball teams hadn’t been in our hotel -- there’s something noisy about hotels and teenagers -- the room was OK. If they deal with that slightly funky smell
and perhaps find a mattress slightly softer than a lane at a bowling alley, I would happily upgrade my rating.
It’s the first time we’ve left town for a couple of days and just poked around elsewhere. We already have tentative plans to head up to visit La Ronge and west into the Battlefords.
It’s not a hot southern holiday but it just might have to do.
• • •
Congratulations to Lyle Karasiuk, who officially received his Citizen of the Year plaque on Saturday.
I was lucky enough to sit at the head table with him and gave a short speech.
I can’t say that speaking to a room full of people will ever be my favourite thing but it’s something I’ve had to do many times over the years.
I have a couple of rules that have served me well.
• No. 1: You aren’t delivering the Gettysburg Address. Keep it short and keep it simple. As soon as you hit about three minutes, people’s eyes start to roll back into their skulls and they fantasize about more exciting things like vacuuming.
• No. 2: People expect to be bored by speeches. If you can slip a little joke in, you’ll get an outsized reaction to the quality of the material. They are relief laughs.
• No. 3: Take notes with you but please don’t read because it’s painfully obvious when you do. I’m lucky because I film my weekly Top 5 video for the Daily Herald’s website every Thursday so I’ve have had more than 70 weeks to smooth out my delivery. I still can’t watch them but other people tell me they have improved.
• • •
Speaking of the website, thanks to everyone who makes a point of visiting it. We’ve seen spectacular growth in the last year and January’s numbers were mind-boggling.
It’s a nice companion to reading the paper. In 2013, we put up 115 slideshows of pictures from events ranging from sports to entertainment to news stories.
The Community Calendar that appears in the Daily Herald and Rural Roots are there, as are all of the news stories, columns and letters.
We’ve been the city’s daily source of news since 1911, with our roots stretching all the way back to 1894 in a community that was incorporated in 1885.
And we aren’t going anywhere.
• • •
Let’s end on a fun note.
I went down the hall to our archives and checked what the news was on Feb. 10, 1934, which is 80 years ago.
In that paper, the big story was a jury finding John Gabel not guilty of manslaughter in a case where his car ran into the horse and buggy that Maria Hoey was riding in.
Gabel was a prominent businessman in the community who was the president of the Retail Merchants.
His car hit the buggy just south of St. Louis on Highway 2 at the bottom of a slope in the road. He tried to miss the buggy, which he said he never saw, but swerving right wasn’t enough.
A fact that may have played into the jury’s verdict after the two-day trial was that the buggy was still on the highway after the accident, but that the horse later spooked, dragging the buggy into the ditch and possibly leading to the woman’s death.
Look for more of these historical notes in my column in the future. I had fun digging up this information.
Perry Bergson is the Daily Herald’s managing editor. You can reach him at 765-1302 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org