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Inna Molodtsova, as a member of the Kalinka Folk Gtoup dances at Canada Day celebrations at Diefenbaker Park. Please see a package of some of our favourite summer photos on Page 16. (Photo by Sandy Hutchinson)
Picking photos for a wedding a hoot

One of the best parts of preparing for a wedding is going through old photos. I think I have probably said that before.
It seems at most weddings these days there is a presentation of photographs covering the life of the bride and groom. My son Brandon is marrying Stephanie Bryden next month, so Sandy and I were asked to provide a selection of pictures that could be shown to their guests.
We picked out funny ones, ain’t-he-cute ones and others that depicted various parts of his life.
I felt badly when I saw pictures of Brandon playing hockey when he was five years old. What was I thinking when I was yelling, “Skate, Brandon. No, the other way.” The kids were so tiny, but we thought of them as young sports warriors.
Brandon and Steph also wanted photos from Sandy’s and my parents’ weddings. Now all in their 80s, it was great to relive part of their lives through their pictures. It was especially nice to see they had photos from their youth. I wasn’t sure there were cameras back then. (That’s a joke, Mom.)


Eating disorders lead to tragedy

A wisp of a girl walks down my street every
day. Every single day. Sometimes once, but more often, three or four times.
I see her from the kitchen window, while washing the dishes or preparing dinner. She catches my peripheral vision as I work next to a picture window. I catch a glimpse of her while working in the yard.
At first, she was thin, tiny, her painfully skinny legs barely holding her up. I thought, oh; is this poor girl ill?
The months and years wore on. The wisp became thinner. She would wear a heavy coat on a warm day. Then she would cover her head, and walk with her arms folded across her chest.
Every time I see her now, I feel sick. I fear the wind will finally blow her down the sidewalk, across the street, into traffic.

Bob Bourne goes above and beyond, on and off the ice

Saskatchewan’s Bob Bourne played on four straight Stanley Cup championships with the New York Islanders from 1979-80 through 1982-83, a rare feat by National Hockey League standards.
​Only Montreal Canadiens players have ever enjoyed those kinds of streaks — five straight cups beginning in the spring of 1956 and then four straight cups beginning in the spring of 1976 and ending just as the Islanders reign was beginning to take shape. 
​“I don’t think those kinds of streaks will ever happen again,” said Bourne in a telephone interview from Kelowna, as he prepared for another Saskatchewan triumph. He was to be honoured July 22 at the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the North Battleford Civic Centre.
​“Hockey has changed today because of free agency and salary caps. I don’t think owners can keep a strong team together long enough to win four in a row. Ours was a special team.

Cultural pride wells up at powwows, indigenous games

There have been many times when I have felt a sense of pride I can’t describe. It’s a cultural pride; a feeling of belonging to something special.
They were the times when I sat with respected First Nations storytellers, some way up in their 90s. It’s been an honour and privilege for me to sit with elders. Sometimes I had to take a break because I was laughing so hard.
But not all stories are about laughter; many are about learning a lesson or stories that make a person think. However, my some of my favourite stories are about pride and survival.
This is how I felt when I watched the opening of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Prince Albert in 1993.
I was working as a television news reporter back then. I was assigned to be in the middle of the field as the athletes were entering the stadium. I was supposed to be describing the scene and the atmosphere.
When I saw thousands of First Nations people from all over North America entering the stadium, I took off my ear piece through which my director was giving orders. I put my microphone down and watched.

Colour replaces lawn in award-winning yard

Twenty years ago, Nancy Hanson moved into a house with a deep back yard. Back then, it was mostly lawn, with a vegetable garden tucked into a corner.
Two decades later, the veggie garden is still there, but the expanse of lawn has slowly and steadily diminished. In its place is an abundance of colour and greenery that earned Hanson the Saskatoon Horticultural Society’s Home Grounds Award for 2017.
Hanson said gardening has been a tradition in her family.
“We had a huge vegetable garden and as kids we had our own little sections in the garden, so we always had our little row of carrots and our own little row of peas. And we had to tend for them.”
Hanson said the veggies in her section were hers to harvest. Those in the main garden were kept for the winter.


Political partisanship is stupid, and becoming obsolete

I don’t belong to any political party because I think partisanship is stupid.
I believe in people, not parties, and I think it would be ludicrous to shove myself into a box and then mould my beliefs and opinions to conform to it. I have a set of values and expectations of government, and I will always look for politicians and parties who match up with them – not the other way around.
Because I’ve been overtly critical of the provincial government lately, I get the label “left” lobbed at me like an insult. It doesn’t bother me because I believe traditional left-right politics is dead, and anyone who goes there is just exposing him or herself as the troglodyte he or she is.
I consider binary politics obsolete because once upon a time politicians alone drove the political narrative, spreading their gospel through rallies, leaflets and, if they were lucky, the newspaper. The boundaries needed to be extremely clear in order to get the message across and gain support. People had to choose a side.


It’s been hard to keep new history book on the shelves

Once upon a day not long ago, Saskatoon author Amy Jo Ehman made a visit to McNally Robinson Booksellers, bearing a card to thank them for hosting her book launch.
Ehman, well-known in these parts for two previous books about food, added Saskatoon: A History in Words and Pictures to her bibliography in June.
Along with other local authors, her book was placed prominently at the front of the store. But on that day, Ehman got a shock... soon followed by a pleasant surprise.
“I walk in the door, and there’s none sitting there,” she related in an interview last week. “There’s my picture on the board, and none of my books. I thought, ‘oh, well, they’re not keeping the shelf stocked up.’
“I walked up to the counter and they informed me there were none in the house. They sold out quite quickly.”
She had her own little cache, for family and close friends, so she took 20 books over to replenish the McNally stock.