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The Ruttle Report - Buildings have memories, just as we do

I have many memories in The Outlook's longtime home here on Saskatchewan Avenue.
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What are some of the strongest memories that you may have?

Do you remember what your emotions were at the time?

Better yet, do you remember where you were at the time?

As humans, we often correlate the emotions we experience with things such as days of the week, or certain people who were there or around us, or even what the weather may have been doing at the time.

But I think one of the things that people may overlook is our surroundings whenever we may certain memories.

I'm thinking about that as we count down the final weeks here at the offices of Outlook Printers. In case you didn't hear, this newspaper and print shop is moving down the street. I mean that literally, by the way; things are moving just a few hundred feet east down Saskatchewan Avenue, as the new home of this 115-year old newspaper will be in the much newer and updated office location right beside the Bargain Shop.

This current location for our business dates back to the 1970's, meaning many, many, MANY issues were published in the five decades and change that have passed.

I started working at The Outlook at the end of March in 2007, so I've amassed quite a sizable bank of my own memories, both of and at this print shop.

I remember lazy Thursday and Friday afternoons in the coffee area that used to be back here, with couches and chairs. It's where we'd talk shop, let off some steam, and unwind for just a few minutes before it was time to get back up and make the proverbial donuts for another week.

I remember conducting countless interviews here, some of them at some rather obscure hours.

I remember ducking in and out of here in order to dump loads of photos onto my computer for countless Canada Days and other notable community events. This was truly a great 'home base' for me whenever those busy-as-hell days would arrive in the riverside community. Parade? Check. Back to base and dump your photos. Sports and kids swimming in the pool? Gotcha. Now back to base and unload those snapshots. Entertainment and fireworks? Covered. Now let's get back to base one more time to dump the photos and go enjoy what's left of your Canada Day.

I remember being here at work on the day that I learned that I was up for an award in 2012. Awards? Huh? For doing this? But that was indeed the case. I eventually drove down to Regina that spring for the newspaper convention banquet and luckily, I heard my name mentioned twice as I actually won the award for Best Feature Story, for my piece on the late Lisa Rendall, who was honoured as the city of Saskatoon's Citizen of the Year.

But the flip side of that coin is that there are memorable moments that aren't so bright and shiny. I was sitting in this office on August 26, 2013 when I got the phone call that every son dreads getting. I picked up the phone and was informed that I'd better get down to Dinsmore ASAP because my dad Jack was dying. I hung up the phone, tried to gather my thoughts, and then I tried to tell my coworker that I needed to get out of there. Of course, I just ended up bursting into tears. I eventually got out of there and sped down to Dinsmore, actually managing to still beat the rest of my family down there. Of course, you know how the rest of this story goes. Jack Ruttle had taken his last breaths, and the rest of us had to learn how to cope in a world without our dad.

I was also sitting in this office when I learned of the impending "war" that was about to be unleashed between this newspaper and the Town of Outlook in April of 2019. This one is still baffling and bizarre to me five years later, especially when one considers the timeline of events that are involved. What started as a mole hill definitely became a mountain within days, and the funny thing is that we didn't orchestrate, and obviously didn't ask for any of it. We received phone calls for CBC interviews, it was covered next door in Alberta, and we had visitor after visitor after visitor drop in to the office to show their support and voice their opinions on the matter. All we could really do was just shrug and go, "What are ya gonna do?"

I was in this office when all of the events of the Covid-19 viral pandemic went down. Well, I should say I was temporarily at this office because I was mainly home-based like everyone else was at the time. But still, as time went on and we watched as community events were either cancelled or retooled, I watched as everyone found a way to recover from the effects that Covid had dealt out, and the results were some very interesting and memorable events in the community that I was very glad to be present for and covering.

For so many landmark events, conversations, interviews, photo jobs, and everything in between, we were here in this building. I don't know what the future holds, but I know that I'll definitely miss the past that I've enjoyed here.

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.