Meadow Lake is a small city, if you feel comfortable calling it that. It’s also a closely-knit city, something I’m still getting used to.
In Toronto, I could interview someone, write a story about them and never see or hear from them again. Not so in Meadow Lake. With every interview I conduct, every photo I shoot, I feel more and more part of this community. And it’s been really quite humbling running into people I’ve interviewed at the grocery store or thrift shop.
Recently, I experienced a rather novel situation which further reminded me that I am now part of a very tightly-knit community.
It was a quiet night, and I was on Skype with a friend from my former home.
Suddenly, I heard screaming, and some banging on the wall from an adjacent apartment unit, a not all-together uncommon occurrence where I’m from.
Soon the yelling grew quieter, and I had assumed what sounded like a domestic dispute had been settled. It took only a few moments for there to be an abrupt knock at my door, which I rightfully assumed to be the local police.
The two Royal Canadian Mounted Police saw that I was not who they were looking for, and quickly apologized for disturbing me. No harm done. But it’s then that I noticed one of the officers was none other than Corey Buckingham, who I had previously met and interviewed when he presented a cheque to Multiworks Vocational Training Inc.
This might seem rather unremarkable to people who have lived in Meadow Lake their entire lives, but having come from a city of 2.5 million, it was an unfamiliar experience for me.
But it wasn’t an unpleasant experience. It was kind of comforting to know the police here not only work in the community, but live and volunteer here.
Most importantly, they care about the community.
At the recent farmer’s market, I ran into a lady who I had seen at three previous events but had never introduced myself. Following our delightful conversation, I likely won’t make that same mistake again.
It’s also been mildly off-putting for me having people approach me and say they recognize my face from the newspaper. It’s all enough to make me feel like a bit of a minor celebrity, albeit a celebrity that spends most of his time staring at a computer screen and typing frantically.*
And besides – I’m sure having covered the local RCMP detachment’s charitable deeds will help the next time I get pulled over, right?