All posts filed under: Issue Nine

The Trip By Karen Hamling

After two hours on the road, I see the wooden ‘Welcome to Nakusp’ sign. A big blue ‘N’ on a white background. The sign is weathered and worn and very much like how I feel as I travel highway 6 into town. “N” for Nakusp or “N” for numb? It is the middle of September and fall has just arrived. I spent last night in Nelson, to decompress before I headed home. I need a break to help me reset. The drive has been spectacular with the maple leaves turning to reds, oranges, yellows while the birch, larch, and trembling ash turning to various shades of yellow signs of winter approaching. I sigh with relief. It has been a difficult journey. I drive down the winding highway where lights glow in various homes and it looks cozy.  I turn right at Anderson’s gas station.  It has been in the Anderson family for years with a well-lit gas pump area a bright beacon, welcoming me home.   It is on the verge of dusk as I pull …

The Writer’s Group by Alan Ross

          On the outskirts of the tiny village of Nakusp, in South Central British Columbia, sat an old barn with a gambrel roof.  Once, it had been red but the paint had worn off and now the dry, weathered wood was ripe to be remade into chic furniture and sold to the seasonal visitors who came every summer to enjoy the uncrowded hiking trails, hot springs and lakes that encircled the isolated town. Many years ago, a photo of the barn had graced ‘April’ in the United Church Calendar. More recently, the Volunteer Fire Chief  had decried the barn a fire hazard but, at least so far, it had been left untouched. Citizens of the village disliked change and most agreed that it would be a shame if anything were to happen to the barn.           The Nakusp writers’ group met at the public library, a busy little place that boasted an admirable collection of popular books that were actually borrowed and returned, again and again. The group was comprised of eight members. Meetings  were …

The Poorest Postal Code in Canada by Meredith Joy Macdonald

I am Canadian, and my identity as a Canadian is something I cherish. I feel grateful because I was born in a country with a vibrant landscape where every person has access to healthcare. All children can receive an education and an opportunity to be literate. As a country, we appreciate the diverse cultures, the customs, and beliefs of all many types of Canadians. Despite all these beautiful strengths, there are still places in Canada where people are struggling, and one of those places is in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. I was born in North Vancouver, although I lived in Nelson from two years old until I was thirteen years old. Hume was my elementary school and I spent two thirds of grade eight at Trafalgar. By the time I was fifteen, I had moved back to Vancouver, and by the age of sixteen, I was living in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. The DTES was my home for years, and there are lots of people who still consider the DTES their home. My …

My Name Is Romero by David A. Romero

It happensEveryNightSingleTelemarketing JulietsCalling from their ivy-covered balconiesCalling for their star-crossed loversCalling,“Hello”“Is Mr. Romeo in?”I’m sorryRomeo went to go grab a burritoMercutio to cruise Whittier BoulevardAnd Shakespeare to take some ethnic studies classesIn other words…Romeo isn’t in!My name is Romero!I am not ItalianSpanish bloodCoursing through these veinsThough my parents are not from SpainAnd despite the Southern Californian accentThat allows words like“Dude”“Sweet”And “sick”To tumble gracefully from these lipsI’m not a white guy!I’m a Mexican!My name is Romero!Romero like Archbishop Oscar RomeroZombie filmmaker George A. RomeroActorCesar RomeroYes!BeforeJack NicholsonBeforeHeath LedgerA brown manPlayed the JokerThey dressed him up in green wigPurple suitAnd white faceThough he would not shaveHis trademark suaveAnd sexyLatin mustacheNo!He was a Romero!I am a Romero!My parents had dark skinAnd dark eyesWhen I was sevenMy brother liedTold me my fatherWas the mailman“How could you be the son of our parentsWith your blue eyesAnd white skin?”Well, brotherLike Jerry Springer or MauryThe DNA results are in!I am a Romero!And I know what some of you are thinkingThat I’m just another white guyTrying to prove he’s a LatinoOr just another MexicanChest-beatingBeating …

Huck Yeah! By Stephanie Henriksen

Moving to Nelson, British Columbia changed my relationship with skiing. It was never my passion. I was introduced to the sport by my Canadian father, but we spent most of our time in Indonesia, swimming in a warm ocean. The snow globe of Winter sports is unique because it requires one crucial element: snow. Where I grew up there is no snow, there are no seasons, constant Summer and tropical rain. In observing the cultures of my mother’s and father’s countries of origin I am left in awe at the creativity of humanity; our traditions deserve to live on and we are allowed to be proud of them. Honestly, ski culture seemed self – indulgent and elitist to me, always on the outside looking in. Yet it was I who decided to move to a secluded mountain town. Skiing on the mountains makes me feel alive, less depressed. How can I judge a way of life that has accepted me and helped me to heal? Well, I can’t. What I can do is use my …