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Opinion: Just living the dream with the Observer

The past year has been a memorable one.
Boikos family Carlyle
The arrival of the Boikos in Carlyle rate among the favourite stories for Gord Paulley.

Editor's note: Starting this week, we'll be running columns in the Observer by our editorial staff in an effort to place an emphasis on what's happening in our area. 

Hello readers. Hard to believe it’s been a year since I started this job and I absolutely love it. 

Having lived in southeast Saskatchewan for nearly 40 years, I cannot believe how many things or people I didn’t know about. My favourite stories are human interest and learning something about the people and places where we live. 

Reflecting on the past 12 months, I have provided you with dozens of stories. Here are five of my favourites and the reasons why. 

Teagan Littlechief: Teagan was so willing to do an interview despite all the troubles with her addictions and a relationship gone south. She confided in me, trusted me, and was willing to let me write what I wanted. She is such a successful singer and such a good mother to Gabe. The sky is the limit for this White Bear woman, and I am proud to say that she is my friend.  

Douglas E. Walker: This was one of my first human interest stories. All I knew about him was that he was a famous photographer and that he lived at Kenosee Lake. I honestly didn’t know what he looked like. I started phoning him about an interview and after my dogged persistence, he finally agreed to meet. I was welcomed into his home at Kenosee, and we had an enjoyable two-hour conversation. Such an interesting fellow and such a great story.  

Mcleod’s Service Station and the Weathervane: I have lived in Carlyle for nearly four decades and didn’t know about the weathervane that has welcomed the traffic entering Main Street for nearly a century. This was the first time that I used the Carlyle history book for valuable background information. I didn’t know about the history of the McLeod family or about the present owner Ron Kyle for that matter. We do now. 

A History of the McCullough Family of Cannington Lake: I really enjoyed writing this story about this well-known but somewhat eccentric family. Pat Butler is a good friend of mine, and her recollections were crystal clear and incredibly interesting.  

The Boikos - The First Ukrainian Family to Move to Carlyle: This was perhaps my most satisfying and impressive story to date. Riding in a van from Carlyle to Regina, I interviewed Serhii and Yuliia using translating and text devices. My mom is Ukrainian, and her parents (my grandparents) came from there. It was a heartwarming and passionate story and I wish them all the best. 

As I enter my second-year reporting for the Observer, I remind everyone that if you have a story suggestion, please give Dolores or me a call. We would be happy to see what we can do. Your paper now has two quality reporters that write interesting stories. 

We might not have room for everything, but it’s not because we don’t care. Most of you are aware that nearly every article in the paper is posted online to the website.  

In closing, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed my reporting and I plan to continue. I am visiting Egypt and Jordan in November and, who knows, maybe I can write a column or two about my travels from the other side of the planet. In the meantime, keep reading, keep smiling, and keep sending us those story ideas.