Brandon Sun

Being a reporter for the Brandon Sun was my first real newspaper job. I had been a night police reporter at the Winnipeg Tribune, but it was sort of mickey mouse work.

This was real. I started off covering the School Board and then moved to City Hall when Steve Magnacca was Mayor.

The Canadian Brier came to Brandon while I worked there. Groundskeepers at City Hall planted red flowers to spell the word Brier on the sloping front lawn. I knew it must look good from the air, so I asked the guys at the Firehall to put me up a firetruck ladder or a photo. They were happy to do so. Fortunately there was no fire.

My best friends were Vern and Wilma Wood. Vern ran the bar at Barney’s up on the North Hill. Part of his job was bringing entertainers to that famous Brandon lounge where I went to do interviews. Carroll Baker came there once.

Two colleagues were good friends, Charles Magill and Paul Minvielle. Charlie later became editor of the Canadian version of Reader’s Digest, and Paul became head of the book division. I wrote a Manitoba chapter for “Canadian Book of the Road” put out under Paul’s supervision by the Digest.

The Provincial Exhibition came to Brandon in summer. One night Paul brought a donkey up our long flight of stairs to the second-floor newsroom. Paul placed the hooves of the animal on a keyboard to make it looki like the ass was typing, another front-page photo.

The nicest memory I have of Brandon is drinking Guinness Stout beside the Assiniboine River with Charlie and Paul Tuesday nights after we had filed our stories with the night editor.

Now I don’t drink anymore.

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