The Page

Yes, there will be a candidates’ forum for those running for the vacant seat on the High Prairie School Division Board of Trustees. The Chamber of Commerce in Slave Lake has it organized for the Hotel Northern Star on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor is looking for nominations for the Alberta Order of Excellence. Nominations are due by Feb. 15. According to a news release on it that came out last week, the Lieut. Gov. is looking for “remarkable citizens, community leaders and innovators,” for “Alberta’s highest honour.”
Nominees must be Canadian citizens living in Alberta, and, if selected, must be able to attend the investiture ceremony in October.
Information about nominating is online at, or by calling 780-449-0517.

Page 9 starts off this week by not talking about the weather. Like Mark Twain in ‘The American Claimant,’ this will be the first attempt to publish a gossip page without mentioning the weather. Unlike Twain, we will not contain all the weather in an appendix at the end, to which the reader can refer to from time to time, as needed. Let’s see how it goes.

Frozen ankles for fashion. Based on the evidence, that might be the newest thing. One day last week the wind was howling and the chill must have been close to -30. (So much for not mentioning the weather) We’ve been used to seeing for years kids on their way to and from school wearing nothing on their heads and hands. It’s so common it’s hardly worth mentioning. Most of the time, we assume, they do not actually get their earlobes frozen off, though it’s hard to understand why not.
But now the fashion appears to be to go sockless to school, no matter what the weather. A group of girls was waiting to cross the street on the above-mentioned miserably cold January day. Bare ankles, every one of them. Exposed flesh freezes in those conditions in about three minutes, we’re told. It must have been freakishly uncomfortable. But wear socks to school? Forget it! Not cool! We’d rather freeze our ankles!

It’s been mentioned in these pages that Cory Turner, who appears in the Slave Lake Musical Theatre Association’s play ‘Kitchen Witches’ later this month, was (is?) a professional actor who once had a part in a movie with Kathy Bates. Or – as they’ll be saying in Hollywood pretty soon – ‘Corey Turner who once performed on stage in Slave Lake!’

This just in; the Rotary Club of Slave Lake is doing a ‘family feud’ event in the spring. Details to follow.

Author Margaret Atwood, on successful public speaking (or writing): The first thing you have to do is keep people awake. Then you have to get your message across.
Good advice. So when it comes to newspapers, how do you grab your readers’ attention? A good, if rather cheeky, example comes from the great Mark Twain. When he was a young newspaper correspondent in California in the 1860s, Twain decided to put on a public lecture on the Sandwich Islands (as Hawaii was then called). He badly needed the money and was scared to death of speaking in public, but it didn’t show in the newspaper ad he ran. ‘Doors open at seven,’ it said. ‘The trouble begins at eight.’
At the top was a blurb about the talk. Under that came additional enticements, looking something like this:

A Splendid Orchestra
Is in town but has not been engaged.
Magnificent Fireworks
Were in contemplation for this occasion, but the idea has been abandoned

This sort of thing may or may not have been uniquely Twain. It was certainly outrageous and funny and would have served to get people’s attention, and bring them in the door anticipating good entertainment. Could we get away with that stuff these days?
Here’s how it might look, say in an ad for a steak supper at the Legion:

Exotic Dancers From Paris
Would be nice, but we can’t afford them

No, on second thought, you couldn’t get away with that sort of thing these days.

The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing a new $1 coin next year, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. The new coin design was approved on Dec. 14.

Share this post

Post Comment