Skip to content

The Ruttle Report - Looking at life from my perspective

Living my life behind a camera has shown me some hard truths.
Ruttle Report Pic

I'm standing on the ramp leading the way up to the entrance to the Bounty Theatre.

In front of me is a rocking band, playing for a raucous crowd, which seems to grow in size by the minute. The band continues to play, the audience continues to enjoy.

Elsewhere, I'm standing in a frenzy of kids activity. There are youngsters flying all over the place. They're sliding down back to their parents from way up top high. They're getting their faces painted. They're playing games like Jenga. They're dunking folks into water tanks with the toss of a ball.

Elsewhere, I'm watching a handful of local folks try their hand at winning a $500 prize in a talent contest. One contestant down, then another one. Oh, that's some impressive dancing right there! Man, and the voice on this person! Hmmm, I'm not sure who's going to take this one. I guess we'll see when the votes come in at the end of it all.

Elsewhere, I'm watching a student choir belt out a few numbers in the Bounty Theatre hall. Apparently, I'm not the only one as there's a sizable audience for this particular show.

Elsewhere, I'm in the audience watching the local theatre group put on their latest production for the people of this community. I always get a kick out of what this talented group of people come up with once or twice a year. In their own little ways, each show is memorable.

Elsewhere, I'm touring the latest exhibit in the museum that takes a dedicated look at how irrigation plays such a pivotal role in this community area. The whole thing is very eye-grabbing, and my camera is busy for the next few minutes, snapping away at all that I see.

That was basically me this past weekend when Outlook hosted its third annual Prairie Festival, a three-day smorgasbord of entertainment, activities, and enough food truck options that King Kong might even have a problem deciding which one looks the best.

This is certainly nothing new to me. I've been covering big community events like this since 2007, so much so that it's basically come down to a science. They're fun, they're insane, and even though it feels like as if I'm being pulled in 72 directions at once, I tell myself that it's worth it in the end because I share a responsibility to myself and to my readers. I'm the guy who covers the happenings in this West Central prairie landscape, so it's on me to provide the news, the facts, and the photos of everything going down in this riverside community and other towns and villages like it.

But do you want to know one of the hard truths about what I do for a living? Something that I don't go out of my way to share?

This can also be a pretty damn lonely gig.

See, when you're the guy who's tasked with covering the news, events and happenings of a wide community area such as this one, it has a tendency to get in the way of things like relaxation, personal time, a social life, or even a romantic one, for that matter. Depending on the time of the year, I may have to bow out of that family reunion or try and reschedule that day trip I was looking forward to because of THIS event or THAT one.

And as I'm watching such events unfold, whether it's a community festival such as the one everyone enjoyed this weekend, or maybe it's an important game going down at the rink or a school play taking place of which several kids have inquired about my attendance, I'm always riding solo and I'm always watching other people enjoy themselves.

My job is to capture your enjoyment, and don't get me wrong, I'm very happy that you get to experience it, but man, I'm getting to the point where I'm sick of waiting for my own enjoyment to come.

I'll give you another example.

Last October, I was faced with one particular night where there were actually three different events going on that I needed to cover. Three events, different venues, all being held at the exact same time. There was the Small Steps daycare's Halloween fundraising event at the Civic Centre, there was the Under-22 girls hockey opener down at the rink, and there was a Halloween rock concert being held at the bar.

Apparently, on this night, Outlook was *the* place to be.

I'm still not sure how I pulled it off, but I managed to slip and sneak in and out of all three events and capture what I needed to present solid stories. The daycare event was great campy fun, the home team actually won the hockey game, and Outlook's greatest rock band killed it onstage. If that's not all, the turnout at all three events was very good, so this town was electric on that evening.

But it was once again one of those nights that reminded me that while people have always been understanding that I have a role to fill and a job to do on nights like that, some of those people also wish that I could just sit down, have a few drinks with them, and unwind with everyone else. Sometimes, I wonder if they'd even believe me if I told them that I often feel the same way, but that's the road I chose in this life; the roving reporter, snapping photos left and right before he whisks away to another event, or in that night's case, two of them.

That's the role I was designated to play in this life, I guess. Capturing life as it happens and documenting it for the sake of local history.

But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a bit of a drag on my personal life from time to time.

Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself and your readers.

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.