Looking back over the past 42 years to that day in April 1976 when the first mimeographed edition of The Whistler Question rolled off the press in our tiny basement on Matterhorn Drive, little did Jane and I know just what we had started.
Whether it was part hunch, part opportunity, or just being in the right place at the right time was not up for debate, but this unlikely newssheet was soon circulating in the halls of government in Victoria as we tried to tell the tale of the development of the first resort municipality in British Columbia.
In retrospect, one could even say that every story, no matter how unlikely, has a beginning and an end — sort of like the Alpha and the Omega. Which brings this octogenarian writer to today as I attempt to script one final column.*
Almost everyone who has contacted me since the decision was announced to fold-up The Question has something relevant to say about their time spent in the newsroom or in production as they helped shape and develop what was to become a fun place to work and an exciting time to be in Whistler.
And what a bumpy ride it has been for the past 42 years, when you consider just how many reporters, worker-bees, cartoonists, photogs and so many more wannabe media types cut their teeth in the newsroom and production room at The Question.
So now, as we look back to our own “Questionable Adventures,” we can share some tall tales and experiences that will never die.
My most memorable take-away occurred on a rainy day in October 1981 when a giant debris-torrent rushed down the M Creek channel in Lions Bay and took out the Highway 99 bridge and the BCR main line that connected North Vancouver to Squamish.
This event totally cut off Squamish and Whistler from the rest of the BC Lower Mainland, swallowed up four cars and took the lives of nine people. It also presented a huge logistical challenge in getting The Question to the printers in Vancouver and back to Whistler.
What followed was a James Bond-ish trip via the Squamish airport to get the flats to Vancouver by small plane; a minor detour to record the event on camera from the air, and a return trip back to Brackendale the next day to get the bundles of Questions back to Whistler!
Other incidents of note would include the “egging” of our house after a rather pithy Burrowings column and the never-ending discussions about sewers, bears, dogs and housing that seem to be an integral part of the Whistler story.
Perhaps an alumni blog is in order so that we can all document and share our many experiences here.
*P.S. For as long as I am able, Burrowings will continue in the monthly Lakeside Manor News.
Paul Burrows is the founder of The Whistler Question.