Mountain Musings: My hope for Revelstoke’s future

By Alistair Taylor

It’s good to be back. It’s been a while. A lot of water has gone downstream since my last column, and it’s interesting times that we are in.

I worked the winter as a lift operator at Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR). The last time I worked as a liftie was 30 years ago in Scotland. Where did the last 30 years go? And where shall we be 30 years from now?

I was born almost 60 years ago in Aberdeen, Scotland. Aberdeen was a much quieter place then, before the North Sea oil boom. How times change in a short span. The human population of the world has doubled in my lifetime, and I’m not dead yet, though I’m getting there.

My father says, “keep moving” and “a wee dram is good for you”. I have been following his advice, and many thanks to roommate Ana for leaving the bottle of Bowmore. Good medicine.

Ana is back in New Zealand now. Vera is in Austria. Mattie, Katie, Hayden, and Eric went tree planting. Some of the Aussie contingent went home, and the Kiwis too. It was a fun crowd working at RMR. Mixing with a younger generation lifted my spirits and I am quite hopeful for the future.

Many thanks to roommate Ana for leaving the bottle of Bowmore. (Alistair Taylor/Revelstoke Review)

I sometimes wonder where the world would be now, had John F Kennedy not been assassinated in 1963. Would we have the Donald in office? Who knows? Not me. There are more questions than answers.

The last few weeks have been fun over at Viers Crescent. The neighbourhood is becoming more integrated. People getting to know each other. From the cradle to the grave. Clarence, 81-years-old, is always good for a chat, as is Renner, 2-years-old.

I grew up on a similar street. Everyone knew everyone. The kids all walked to school, no matter the weather.

My dad (now 81-years-old) left school at 15 and served an engineering apprenticeship in the shipyards of Aberdeen before joining the Merchant Navy as 3rd engineer, working on sugar carriers plying between Liverpool and the West Indies.

He looks smart in his uniform in the wedding photo of 1961. My mum and dad were both 21 when they married, and by the time they were 24 had 2 kids. My younger sister Jacqueline was born in June, around seven months after JFK was shot.

Memories, memories. We all have families and we all have memories. My memories of the 1960’s and 1970’s are good ones. As kids we roamed free and got into many adventures, and a few misadventures. We developed a resistance. We got taught how to work. (The tattie holidays in October was when we picked potatoes in the fields). Dad would be at work at the paper mill (in the 60’s) or whisky distillery (in the 70’s), and mum and the two kids would be on our hands and knees picking potatoes.

Happy days!

Most households had a garden. Plastic was less common. Life was simpler. The sense of community was strong. A strong community is a fine thing. My hope for the future is that Revelstoke will be a strong community that grows food and looks after everyone.

It’s pretty simple, really.

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