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Tales By Fabulous Citizens

Lesbian Bus Stop

It could have been a winter’s day like any other. In fact, the crowd at the bus stop in front of Eaton’s might have felt it was, but I knew differently.  I waited, my eyes glued to the incoming buses, searching.  I was excited, embarrassed at being so, yet pleased at the prospect of seeing someone who I thought so lovely.  And as if the skies could hear my heart beating, they opened up, and large, wet snowflakes began to fall.  I stuck out my tongue with delight as a child, but withdrew it quickly.  A moment later, I glanced up and saw the rear bus doors open, releasing onto the sidewalk a stunning woman in a navy blue pea coat with a white scarf tucked neatly around her neck.

She looked around casually, not seeing me right away, and I took that moment to drink her in.  I watched the snow falling lightly onto her brown, closely cropped hair and marveled at the hidden wonders that the city held.  For no one had ever told me about this woman, mentioned her living in Winnipeg (one great city) and yet, here she was, standing in front of Eaton’s shining like a jewel, making it difficult to breathe, and opening up my future.

Eager for Winter

I miss the winter river paths. From our house it’s about a kilometer by street to where we can access them. There’s two paths that run parallel to each other. I bicycle on the one that’s not cleared down to the ice for skating. Everybody on the river is cheerful, maybe taking the river to work downtown. You’re under the city about—I don’t know—5 or 6 meters, looking up the banks at the trees and buildings that line them. It feels like you’re passing through the city. River boat passengers must have felt that way—that they weren’t in the city until they docked.

You can run but you can’t hide

Years and years ago on a street corner in London, yakking away to my Winnipeg boyfriend, a guy standing beside us looked at my boyfriend and said “North End, Winnipeg, right?” Our jaws dropped because, yes indeed, that was where my boyfriend grew up. Someone halfway across the world recognized his “accent.” That was amazing to me because I grew up in the south end of Winnipeg and I’d never noticed he talked “funny.” Now, married to him all these many years, I do know. Selkrik anyone?!!

The Tarot card write-ups are brilliant, by the way.

Truly a small world

I moved to Winnipeg from southern Ontario in 1983 as a teenager.  I was involved in the army cadet program in Ontario, and joined a cadet corps here when I moved.  I still stay in touch with friends from cadets.

Move forward more than 25 years and last year I was at a Moose game for the military appreciation night.  While standing in line and talking to the people I was there with, I heard a voice that just seemed familiar somehow.  After hearing it a few times, I turned to look at who it was.  It took a few seconds to click, but I suddenly realized it was one of the girls I was in cadets with in Ontario so many years ago.  I called out her name in a questioning way as if to say, is that you?  She turned and looked. Again it took a few seconds for her to recognize me but then we immediately called out our old nicknames for each other, “spazz” and “guppy” (long story), and gave each other a big hug.  Then I quickly realized that she was with her husband (also another cadet from our corps back then).  Of course hugs were exchanged again.

All these years later and I find 2 friends I’d lost touch with long ago and far away.  And there they are.  Here in Winnipeg too. 

Who’d a thunk it!

Everybody into the pool

Radio stations can be so disappointing - with so much amazing music to hear and incredible stories to share - they too often fill the airwaves with safe wallpaper pablum.

Back in the day when that approach really bugged me, I tagged the Arlington Bridge with, ‘92 CITI FM BLORTS CRUD BLAB’. 

Kind of a Winnipeg love thing I guess, but didn’t we all feel better?

Rob Shaw

The Grand Marnier

My sister and I got tickets to go see the Contemporary Dancers this was in the mid 80’s we were teenagers and it was the first time we had been given the family car to drive to the city (Winnipeg) from the country (where we lived). Well once we got to the area of the Concert Hall (our destination) and circled round to find a parking spot, we ended up arriving at the show as the lights went down. We thoroughly enjoyed the show although the tights left little to the imagination. So giggles aside, we really felt like sophisticated and cultured little country mice. As we were leaving the concert hall the doorman (?)said, “Good evening ladies. Please join us for a reception in the foyer sponsored by Grand Marnier.”  This is when I proclaimed for all to hear, “You’ll have to give the Grand Marnier our best and please thank him but my sister and I really do need to get back to the country.”

Friendship Found At Salisbury House

Salisbury house is not only a Winnipeg institution when it comes to it’s Nips and blueberry pancakes but it’s also a place where friends meet for coffee week after week and year after year. I am proud to say that’s where I met one of my best friends while working there over 19 years ago.
At the time we were two fellow Transconians with a love for Depeche Mode, Erasure and great fashion sense involving polyester. We bonded over that year we worked together and have remained the best of friends ever since. Kevin now lives in the greater Toronto area and I still find myself amongst the Pink Flamingos here Transcona and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every year with out fail he will come back to his roots to be with his family and friends and we will always meet for at least one breakfast at our familiar Sal’s on Plessis Rd.

Laura Rand

be careful what you say

My story of Winnipeg, involves that fact that we are a big city, yet a small city at the same time.  It’s hard to go anywhere and have a conversation and meet someone without them or you already knowing someone who knows you or the other person.  Everyone seems connected here by a couple degrees.  It makes you obiligated to try to be polite and makes gossiping rather difficult.

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