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The Ruttle Report- New digs, same mission statement

I can't help but look back as the newspaper looks forward to a new beginning.
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I remember that being a very brisk morning. That kind of time period where you know spring is on the way, but winter's still keeping its grip on the area as far as temperatures were concerned.

It was Tuesday, March 27, 2007. I started up my dad's diesel truck, which he used for a mail truck when he was essentially Mr. Postman for this entire regional area during my last couple of years of high school. Yeah, it was a standard and it was overkill as far as an everyday vehicle went because it kinda felt like you were driving a much smaller bus, but I'll be damned if it didn't get nice and toasty when you had that heater going. And on this morning, I appreciated it.

I watched as the morning sun was starting get up as I made my way over here to Outlook. I was excited, I was curious, and I was full of questions.

That's because I was starting my new job at the local newspaper shop, Outlook Printers, which published The Outlook, a longtime weekly newspaper in the community and surrounding area. I was hired to come in a couple days a week, write and edit copy, and help with anything else that needed to get done from a production standpoint.

But not even a month had gone by on the calendar before I was asked to attend an event here in town and cover it for the paper. Huh? Wha? I wasn't the reporter (yet), that was the job of Shirley, the young Asian student reporter who was still learning all the ins and outs of the English language. But it turned out that she was covering something else that particular Wednesday night, and so there I was at the Outlook Heritage Center, covering the graduation ceremony of students exiting the Prairie West Regional College's carpentry program.

I took some photos, I wrote some notes, and I made sure I got all the names spelled right. I also had a pretty good supper that night, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't think the free food was a nice little bonus.

Folks, I've enjoyed many more free meals since that time, especially after I became the full-time reporter myself in August of that year.

Flash forward to this week, where it's now Monday, June 24, 2024. I'm looking out my office door and seeing a nearly-empty back room of the Outlook Printers office building. That's because our building was recently sold. The print shop and newspaper office is moving literally down the street here on Saskatchewan Avenue to the neat little spot located just beside the Bargain Shop. It's a much smaller location, but the great thing is it's all relatively new and updated after renovations.

Sometimes a new start is a good thing, but I'm still going to miss this location, with its great vantage point of being pretty much in the middle of downtown Outlook.

The history of The Outlook being here at 108 Saskatchewan Avenue East certainly doesn't start with me because it had been here since the 1970's, when it was moved from its original home over on Franklin Street.

Still, MY history with this office is right here, as are my many, many memories that have been produced over the course of 17 years.

So what exactly is in the middle of those two timeframes? Well, just a whole world of stories from a whole world of perspectives, with many of them creating a whole world of memories.

I was here at this office when I interviewed Lisa Rendall, a woman who was a former radio personality in Saskatoon and had garnered massive respect for her efforts in raising money for cancer initiatives. I interviewed her over the phone one chilly day in January of 2011 as Lisa had just been named the 2011 CTV Saskatoon Citizen of the Year. I wanted to talk to her about it because Lisa originally came from the Loreburn area. She was a great interview, which is saying something because at the time, Rendall was in her own hard-fought battle against cancer. I was there a couple months later in March to see Lisa be given her award in Saskatoon, but it was obvious that the clock was running out. In the end, the cancer won as Lisa passed in April of that year. I'm glad I got the chance to get to know her, limited time we had together. I'd be grateful again one year later, when I actually won an award for Best Feature Story for the article I wrote on Lisa. Life's funny that way.

I was here at this office when my coworkers and I found ourselves in a bizarre, unnecessary battle with the town council of Outlook in the spring of 2019. We wanted to ask the mayor and council some tough questions because members of the public had come to us time and time again, asking these kind of questions that seemingly had no answers at the time. Well, let's ask them ourselves! Phoned the mayor, he gave me his email address for me to send the questions to, we waited a couple of weeks, and when I asked for an update on them, I was instead emailed a motion that was introduced and carried at a meeting of council that said the Town was going to contact our higher-ups; essentially, "We're going to tell your bosses on you because you asked tough questions and we think that's mean!"

Five years later and I'm still laughing at that whole fiasco.

Change can be a good thing because it allows you the chance to try and reinvent yourself or modify the way you do things. That's what this move is really all about, as far as I'm concerned. My coworkers are moving; I'm not. That's because since I no longer technically work FOR this newspaper, I don't really need a new office. I'll be mainly working from home, unless I need to conduct an interview and I need a location for it.

Until then, I'll be working from the 'office' at home.

My life compared to that timeframe back in 2007 is very different today. I'm older, I'm wiser, and I see the world around me much differently. Still, when change comes around, it's natural to think about the past and all the "Remember when?" moments that you experienced.

These 17 years at this office location are ones that I'll remember forever. But it's time to make new ones, tell new stories, and forge new paths.

I'm still a news guy, and as far as I'm concerned, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

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