Friday, May 20, 2016

What feels like home

From left, me, Karenn, Ros and Andrea, at site of former Vancouver Sun building.
The Vancouver Sun was never an easy place to work, but for some of us, there was something about it that got into our skin and never let go. Andrea, Karenn, Ros and I, who were reporters together in The Sun newsroom as long ago as the late 1970s and early 1980s, were talking about that over lunch on Friday. Whether we worked there for four years or 40, we all felt that somehow The Sun was "our place." In our discussion, we came to no consensus on the reason for this, but I have a theory. I think we were still young enough to be imprinted, like baby critters, by the big exciting operation we found ourselves part of. We bonded not only with each other, like siblings, but with our "parent" employer -- with its huge resources, major clout and cadre of well-respected journalists, photographers and big-name columnists. How exciting it was to bump elbows with the likes of Marjorie Nichols, Allan Fotheringham, Jack Wasserman and Paul St. Pierre! To do assignments with legendary photographers! We were little frogs in that big pond, but what a lively, thrilling, high-stakes pond it seemed. Andrea and Ros went on to work for CBC and teach at Langara, while Karenn and I made decades-long careers at The Sun. But meeting at a restaurant just a block away from our long-ago workplace (now replaced by condos, what else?) reminded us of that ineradicable connection: There is still something about The Sun that feels like home.

Definition of imprinting, courtesy of "Rapid learning that occurs during a brief receptive period, typically soon after birth or hatching, and establishes a long-lasting behavioral response to a specific individual or object, as attachment to parent, offspring, or site."

Were we imprinted as young reporters, just like the goslings we saw  at False Creek on Friday?

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