Looking for laughs in Ladysmith

Rick Stiebel is the interim editor for the Ladysmith Chronicle.

As Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks sang so succinctly back in ‘69, “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”

That tune was bouncing around the barren regions of my brain as I headed up Island for five weeks of work keeping the throne warm at the Ladysmith newspaper until the new editor arrives. Since this would mark the longest I’ve been away from the bride in many years, I thought it best to check with her before accepting the gig, but she was too busy packing my bags.

Barely 18 months into my so-called semi-retirement, I can now add the Chronicle to the growing list of Black Press papers I work for that includes, in order, the Goldstream News Gazette, the Sooke News Mirror, the Saanich News and the Oak Bay News.

It’s fair comment to say that I’ve turned into one of those contract wordslingers; this phrase for hire. Due to my Stone Age computer skills, however, I have never seen my name attached to a masthead in the spot reserved for editor until last week. There’s a long list of editors I’ve worked with who will be reeling and retching at the very thought of ever stumbling across a copy of any form of publication that lists me that way, unless it was done in crayon.

Speaking of editors, my new-found sources in Ladysmith insist that the Sooke News Mirror’s own Kevin Laird launched his journey into journalism here back in the day. Other real deal talented editors who have worn out the seat I’m sitting on include Mitch Wright, Andrew Topf and Edward (don’t call me Ted unless we’re friends) Hill.

My original mentor and good friend Keith Norbury, who bore the brunt of my mistake-plagued early years at the Gazette, worked at the paper in Duncan for many years, a short sprint down the highway.

For reasons beyond my limited scope, I’ve been blessed to work with some of the best in the biz in less than a generation, or roughly half of that time frame in reporter years. We’ll leave whether they were digging into the bottom of the barrel at hiring time as a topic for another day, but I do want to give a huge shout-out to Melissa Fryer, the real Chronicle editor who works at the Nanaimo News Bulletin. I couldn’t do this without her patience, expertise, layout skills and sense of humor.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Transport truck driver identified as one victim in double fatal head-on crash

Clifford Bishop, 54, a resident of Cassidy, had been a truck driver since he was 18

Manly will give it another go with federal Green Party

Paul Manly to be acclaimed as party’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate

Volunteers needed for Sunday’s Festival of Lights takedown

Volunteers asked to meet at the 49th Parallel Grocery upper parking lot at 9 a.m.

Editorial: Need to look at more than just emergency Malahat bypass

We favour options that offer regular alternatives, not just a crash bypass.

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Most Read