The most life-changing event of those two years in Calgary was making the acquaintance of a young man from Regina, Saskatchewan, who had already worked at a newspaper for several years and had more newspaper experience than any other of the 96 students in our first-year class. Al Driver and I met in the fall of 1973 through a mutual friend and quickly became friends ourselves. We went on our first date in January 1974 and were married two years later. We have lived in Regina, Saskatchewan, since graduation, and have three grown children - a son and two daughters - all of whom have married excellent people in their own right. We are also blessed with three young grandsons, so we count ourselves lucky on many fronts.
Earlier this month, after attending our eldest daughter's wedding in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Al and I drove to Calgary to visit the Military Museums to see the treasured artifact that is on the cover of our award-winning book The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story by Alan J. Buick. See my blog about that museum visit.
We also took some time to visit a few of the places that were important to us during our two years at SAIT. Join us on our trip down Memory Lane:
Currie Barracks, across the street from the Military Museums, reminded me of my summer job there between first and second year at SAIT. I was receptionist for a military doctor. Maybe that is what helped me in my years of reporting for The Medical Post, Or maybe not.
Calgary is a beautiful city, but too big for this small-town girl.
From what we can remember, I lived in the basement of this house (or one on this lot) for a few very enjoyable months in 1974-1975.
Al and I both worked at Zodiac Pizza, which may have been where this strip mall is now. Al made big tips as a delivery guy. I made meagre tips as a waitress. Woe is me.
Al lived in a basement suite of a small house that was on this lot, now home to this huge complex.
The Shell gas station is still here, though. Al recalls the manager kindly allowing him to plug in his car on their lot during the winter months.
A view of downtown Calgary while crossing the Bow River. Pretty.
A random chicken that I thought was funny.
Al and I had our first date at the North Hill Shopping Centre. He took me bowling. I'd never bowled before but beat Al quite handily. Poor guy. He still stuck around, though.
Coming up to our alma mater, SAIT.
The bank, newspaper office, yearbook office, students' union, and other offices were all in this building in our day.
As Journalism students, we worked on the school newspaper, the Emery Weal.
No paper today. It's summer holidays!
We had most of our classes in this building.
This was the SAIT residence where we lived for our first year at SAIT. Al lived in a four-room unit on the fourth floor. I am pointing to the seventh-floor room that I shared with a roommate.
These are two new student residences on campus.
We shared a hamburger and fries several times at what used to be a Fullers Restaurant across the street from the residence.
Al worked at this A & W during his first year at SAIT.
An interesting piece of art I saw on 16th Avenue NW.
The Calgary Tower, now dwarfed by the buildings around it, was the tallest building in the area in our day. Al and I got engaged at the top of the Tower!
The best place to eat burgers in Calgary, or anywhere for that matter. There is always a huge lineup at Peter's Drive-In, for good reason.
The food is delicious!
Even their garbage cans are awesome.
Ah, that's better. The flat plains of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Home sweet home.