I am still in Edmonton staying at the Chateau Lacombe. I lived in Edmonton from 1955-1967. I attended and graduated from the University of Alberta in 1964. Memories of times are flooding back to me and it is extremely eerie.
I look out the window of my seventeenth floor room and there is the Empire YWCA. It is a huge building. What is eerie about that? My first job after graduating from the University of Alberta was working for the Edmonton YWCA but in an old building. I think my job title was Youth Program Director. I worked there for two years and then went on to work at Alberta Hospital as a social worker. I went online and looked up the YWCA and was extremely impressed by their programs and the professionalism of the Board of Directors. They have come a long way baby from those days in 1964. If I had more time I would go and check out the building and meet the Executive Director. Perhaps I will come back to Edmonton and do this. It is only a two hour flight from Vancouver. That is one of the advantages of living in London, England for two and a half years. A two hour flight seems like a hop, skip and a jump away. San Francisco is a two hour flight away from Vancouver and so is Edmonton. So this is working out for me, this return to my native country.
The Edmonton Journal building is on the corner. I dimly recall being the University reporter to the Edmonton Journal in 1963 probably. Perhaps I was writing copy when Lynne heard me say: ding, ding ding sh**, ding ding, ding sh**. So the chickens have come home to roost as they say, whatever that may mean. Apparently I started following in my uncle’s footsteps but then got distracted. It was not until I went to London that I remembered my newspaper reporting days. I was also active at the Gateway, the University of Alberta student newspaper. My sheer energy and drive amaze me. Who was that person? “Do you have an off switch?” someone once asked. Apparently not.
I have been back to Edmonton in the ensuing years but almost always in the winter. I have spent many Christmases with the Meuniers, my family of choice. Most people don’t get to choose their families – I do. I am lucky that way. I have not been back to Edmonton at this time of year. I marvel at the greenery of the river valley. There are leaves on the trees, what makes that memorable is that in the winter there are no leaves on the trees.
I have special memories of the Chateau Lacombe, which is one reason why I picked it to be my temporary residence. It was the medical school graduation party and dance of husband number one. I remember what I wore, it is a dress I still have and proudly wore when I lost weight recently. My mother sewed it for me, it was very posh. I remember drinking Black Russians and going round and round in La Ronde, which still exists. I have not visited it as yet but shall prior to my departure on Monday. Don said: What a good memory you have! My birthday book contains a quote from Rita Mae Brown. “One f the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” That is of course true but some things I do remember.
I am in my usual flamboyant style making friends. Don calls me his VIP guest and this is only my second day here at the Chateau. This is an actual exchange.
Christian: Hello Alexis, how are you today?
Me: Thank you for remembering my name
Christian: I always remember the name of a person with a great personality.
Me: Wow! Thank you! Can I blog this conversation.
Christian: Of course.
But I am not in Edmonton to blog so I must get on my merry way. Triple C. did respond to my email saying: “It is not the same without you at my desk.” Awwwwww! Other emails from my Trump family as well.
The picture is one from my window and another one of the plaque honoring the namesake of the hotel.