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Six years ago

Lisa Sygutek

Nov 15, 2023

I came across this editorial that I wrote exactly six years ago...

I often go through all issues of the paper to see what was going at this time up to ten years ago and I came across this editorial that I wrote exactly six years ago. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think and miss that great man. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did. Buddy passed away on Valentine’s Day 2017 and his loss is felt throughout this community, the Pass Herald and my life.

Get Better Buddy!

Well, Buddy is sick this week, so you get an editorial from me.

This week’s editorial is about our Editor, Buddy, who has been a staple in the Pass Herald since he bought it in 1950. He’s been in this industry for 67 years. That’s over 3,300 editorials by this wonderful man I have had the privilege of working with for the past 17 years.

The Pass Herald is an institution in this town. Be-tween Gail and Buddy, it has remained a family owned and operated business. In fact, we are the second oldest business in the Pass.

Isn’t that an amazing accolade? How many businesses make it five years, let alone 87 years? Well, we have! I don’t know if it’s by sheer grit and determination or just good luck, but I’ll enjoy it either way.

We often joke with our association that Buddy might, at 87, be the oldest editor in Canada. He comes to work, he answers the phones, he writes the editorial, he takes care of distribution, he helps me with libel, he cools me off when I lose my temper and he drives my kids back and forth. He’s not just someone I work with; he’s my family. He’s pretty much all I have left for family and each day I walk into work with him, I consider it a privilege.

Buddy has been sued three times and all three times he’s lost. He’s taken side jobs to subsidize his paycheques. Believe it or not, we don’t make a ton of money. We certainly do what we do because we love it. It’s in our blood.

Buddy owned a Honda Dealership with my parents, they owned a Radio Shack, the Registries and we distributed Pic-A-Pop. Buddy worked as a body man, a mortician’s assistant and he even drove a taxi, picking up prostitutes from the train in Blairmore and dropping them off at the ‘Red Brick House’ in Frank. He also played in the Lighterman with my Dad.

He’s led an interesting and wonderful life and has witnessed the best and worst times in the Crowsnest Pass. He remembers them all with accuracy and clarity. As more of our forefathers pass away, the history of our community is getting lost. With people like Buddy around, the stories can and will be passed along generation to generation.

Buddy was a Freemason; he loved the lodge and only left when they asked my dad to leave because he was Catholic. Back in the day it was frowned upon to be a Catholic and a Mason. Buddy, though he loved the fraternity, quit in solidarity with my dad. That’s the kind of man he was, loyal and trustworthy.

So I just wanted to take a moment and thank Buddy for being like a father to me, for treating my kids like they are his grandchildren and for making this business one of the most respected in this community. He’s never missed a piano recital, or a symphony concert that I was in, he even came to both of my convocations from University. He was just as proud of me as my parents. I think because in many ways he is a parent to me. How blessed am I to be so loved! 

When I went to university, my thought wasn’t that I would one day work and own our family business. Yet here I am and I tell you all, I have huge shoes to fill. How lucky am I to get to come to work for almost two decades with my best friend and supporter. In his eyes I can do anything!

How many people, when asked what they do, can say, “I own a newspaper.” What an honour. Plus I’m opinionated and I love the analogy once given to me by Bud himself, “don’t get into a fight with someone who buys her ink by the barrel”. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which side you sit, I will always have the last word.

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