Minnedosa and Facebook

I’m thinking about Minnedosa, Manitoba. I grew up there. I wonder if I’ve thought about it enough, over the years.

Of course I went back often, when Dad was alive, but then I always moved along and focused on the next story. I had a sense of what was happening there but took that knowledge for granted. Moving with the media to west, then east, then west coasts, my impressions of the old hometown grew quickly muddled—but Dad could always straighten me out when we talked on Sunday.

After my dad died I began to think of it less as a place I knew today, and more of an idea. That’s never happened to me before. It’s my job—it’s my life—to imagine places as they are today; whether “today” is a few moments ago or a hundred years ago. Even if the places aren’t real. Yet this idea of Minnedosa had somehow become distant and unreal. It had become a sort of imaginary toolbox, the place where I kept my original knowledge. Memories of growing up there became stories.

That wasn’t the case when I was at THIS WEEK about 15 years ago. My old pal Barb Kingdon lived in Prince Rupert at the same time as me in the ‘90s, and gave me an endless supply of hand-me-down copies of the Minnedosa Tribune. On Sunday my dad could help me sort out what I read. Having Barb there put me back in touch for a little while, and that came out in the columns.

I haven’t written anything about Minnedosa in a long while. At least a decade. Then I added Facebook to my social media habits, and reconnected with a few old childhood friends. That’s what made me wonder if I hadn’t thought about Minnedosa enough. Learning the continuing story of old friends, and reviewing old memories, eventually made me paw through the files for various Minnedosa writings—mostly from THIS WEEK—and I’ve gradually posted a few to the Solid Gold Box. These are The Solid Gold Box, Prince Rupert This Week (actually an Iain Lawrence column about reading the Minnedosa Tribune), A Gift From W.O. Mitchell, and The Town Constable.

The reason that I (finally) accepted Facebook was that it allowed me to stay in touch with old friends. I’ve accepted other forms of social media for different reasons than that—but Facebook offers an extension of friendship, and thus a re-visitation of self.

Sorry. Not “Facebook.” “fb” (lol) cu L8r.

No, wait. That’s Twitter…

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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.