By Jonah Kondro
This might be my one year anniversary as a columnist at the Rimbey Review. I’m a little uncertain though. This column could be a month too early, or it could be pretty close based on nothing more that some of my recent reflections. I think it was Steven Martin (the funny guy) that said something to the effect of: after doing something long enough, you can say you’ve been doing it for ten years. Ironically, he was talking about playing the banjo and not comedy.
My complete career as a mechanic lasted a decade. I spent a few years as an apprentice and a few years with a ticket under my belt. For the purposes of a resume, time spent doing something counts for something. Career epochs have this weird value attached to them, as if more time enhances the value of something. People feel similar about old cars and old books.
The time/value concept is arbitrary though. Who’s to say that my one year anniversary as a columnist is a big success;maybe it’s not and the measure of success comes at thirteen months rather than twelve. Regardless of how long I’ve been attached to my weekly homework assignment for the Rimbey Review, I have written some good columns, some bad columns, and some noteworthy columns.
I’ve done my best to produce something unique and curious to read every week. I’ll admit that I’ve missed, forgotten, or simply decided not to write a weekly column; and other times I may have been tangled up in a motorcycle mission, wrote complete garbage, and thankfully my editor quietly sends those e-mailed columns to the trash folder.
It was during the fall last year when I was at my grandfather’s house during the same time the guy was over that mowed grandpa’s grass. The landscaper asked me what it was like writing for the paper. I may have been on a birdhouse building shift in grandpa’s garage when I was asked and was subsequently completely taken by surprise. I didn’t know how to answer what it was like. I was just happy that someone out there was reading my work.
There has been other times when people from town catch me at the post office. Hey, I like the style of your writing, they say to me. Cool, I’m glad someone is reading my stuff, is often how I respond. I ran into an old acquaintance at the grocery store a few months ago. He stopped me in the aisle that has all the canned fish just to talk about a recent column I had wrote. It feels good to learn that my stuff is being read.
There is a gal I know through Red Deer College, and she suggests I try to get a gig writing for a larger publication. Nah I said. I like writing for the Rimbey Review. Why? It’s simple, I can write and submit about whatever is on my mind that week.If I got a spot writing in a larger paper, they would likely try to govern my column’s direction and send me to Bower Ponds three times a year to write about the ducks.
A mutual friend through one of my old Rimbey Ford co-workers said he liked my writing because it is about my life. This guy said he didn’t care about what colour someone in town painted their house. Maybe there is something intrinsically different about a year’s worth of my columns that I should proud of.