Recently, our regional president approached me with a request to address a gathering of our sales personnel, and perhaps share some “indelible impressions” from my years as a journalist and community newspaper editor.
Indeed, there are more than a few of those tucked in the corners of my cranial dust bin.
One immediately came to mind … the day I arrived at work to find a bullet hole in my window.
Now, I don’t know if it was meant to send a message to me for some editorial transgression, real or imagined, or whether it was just a stray round, but it did leave an indelible impression.
On the other hand, it was in Surrey.
Just another day at the office…
On a similar, but less dangerous note, is one of my favourite tales involving a certain mayor.
He was a chief suspect in the Bun-gate Incident, as related by a reporter hailing from Portugal Cove, Newfoundland.
This young scribe wrote to me, among others, to complain about the nefarious behaviour of our august head of civic state, who was possibly aided and abetted by a member of the regional district.
It seems the complainant, a Mr. Jones, was doing his due diligence behind a notebook and camera at a function of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention, held that particular year in, as you might guess, Newfoundland.
Mr. Jones claimed he was merely doing his job, taking pictures of Premier Clyde Wells during his speech at the Saint John’s Memorial Stadium.
Several FCM delegates apparently were of the opinion that Mr. Jones had overstayed his media welcome in front of the podium, and was blocking their view of Wells.
Suddenly … whack!
The reporter said he was struck in the back by a dinner bun.
Mr. Jones asserted that the mayor of my community at the time was among the more aggressive of those heckling him to move, along with a regional district representative.
One of them was the culprit, he insisted.
Both men vehemently denied responsibility for launching the bread bomb.
After evaluating the information as presented, I considered the scenario rather suspicious.
For starters, it was alleged that the bun was thrown to make Mr. Jones cease and desist his photographic distractions.
Now, why would two veteran politicians be that eager to see the premier of Newfoundland?
Perhaps instead, the bun was not targeted at the reporter, but was meant for Clyde!
Now that would be more believable, and quite acceptable political behaviour.
And if so, the reporter ought to have been proud to take one for his province.
In a subsequent conversation with our accused mayor, I assured him we would not be pursuing a story on the unsubstantiated matter.
Nevertheless, I told him I was rather dismayed with the reporter’s response.
Had he been a member of my staff, I would have fully expected him to return fire.
And in case such an incident might occur in our own community, I warned the good mayor that I was issuing each of my journalists with three kaiser rolls, and orders to engage if their persons were threatened by incoming baked goods.
Local politicians should consider themselves duly advised.