Monday 27 May 2024

Media Deprivation

    It seems I have always been addicted to media.  I remember my dependence on the newly introduced transistor radios and the “Golden Age of Television” during my elementary education days, and then later when I was in high school and university, record albums and 45’s where added to my addiction.  I then, also became extremely interested in the news too, so it wasn’t only music that I needed.

    Today, you hear a lot about how addicted people have become to their mobile phones and social media, and the how they begin to break out in a sweat when the device is taken away from them.  That always reminds me of our immigration to Canada.

     In order for us to immigrate, I had to take a job that no Canadians wanted.  The job I took was teaching in a one-room school in a very remote lumber camp, with no roads in or out of the place.  Because of its isolation, it was accessed by plane.

    The photo above shows where we lived during our first year (1973) in the camp.  We had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to immigrate, but we were young and adventurous.  

    One of the sacrifices we were forced to make was living in the absence of media, and that was very difficult for us to live with.  The camp was very remote, 110 miles (177km) as the crow flies, away from the nearest town (Ft. St. James), with nothing but forests, lakes and rivers in between.   As a result we had no television reception, and extremely rare radio reception (sometimes at night if the weather was right).  We depended heavily on the mail which was always late and sporadic.  

    I did have my stereo, record albums, and guitar, but I really missed staying current with what was going on in music, so I subscribed to Rolling Stone Magazine.  During those three times a year when we were able to leave camp and get out to some town,(Christmas, Spring Break, and Summer Vacation)  I always bought some new albums of recording artists I had read about.  

    For news, we subscribed to Newsweek Magazine, but it was always 2 weeks or so, out of date by the time it arrived in the camp mail.

    During our second and third year living in the Silvacan Resources Camp, the school district did move in a new mobile home for us to live in, but we still had to do without radio and television reception, and continued to depend on the mail for our information.  Sometimes during Postal Union strikes we had no mail for months.

    After that third year, I resigned the Camp teaching job and took a position in a 2 room school in a hamlet called Avola, where we did have CBC radio and television reception.  That was a big relief after living 3 years without it.

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