One morning the radio announcer ended the news broadcast with a “kicker”, a story about a kangaroo spotted in Austria, far away from its native home in Australia. No investigations at local zoos turned up a missing kangaroo. So where did this animal come from?

Decades ago I learned from my high school English teacher to listen to news broadcasts for the light pieces always delivered at the end. This happens without fail from CBC to BBC to ABC. I hoped this particular “kicker” would get resolved quickly.

When growing up my household received more than one newspaper. The comics section provided the lighthearted reading. I can still picture my father chuckling over those comic strips. My mother was in the habit of cutting out feature articles about my father’s sports career in lacrosse. She’d made a scrapbook which she kept that proved useful when I wrote a book about my father. I, too, am in the habit of cutting out articles, mostly about books or opinion pieces I find insightful.

Among my mother’s collection of loose newspaper articles I found a page about me. It showed a picture of fellow high school graduates from 1966. Although she had torn out the entire front page she hadn’t kept the rest of the article. Curious about what had been written back then I went to the local library. Fortunately the branch had a collection of early newspapers. I easily found the piece in the archives that were kept on microfiche. There I could read the whole article that named the graduates. Small town pride.

There was another interesting picture from that newspaper dated Monday, November 7, 1966. It showed a young man who was running for council. Although he had been a promising student, he had not gone on to higher learning like the graduates in the photo. Instead, he had settled down and started a family. I don’t know if he’d won a seat in council but I do know that his sister hadn’t graduated either and that she claimed to be in high school with me although she never was in my class. The record of that is in the year books which I kept. Remember them?

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