The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal


1980s rule in place to protect blood recipients, says organization

thumb kingsmith_blood2_copyIt took me about a week to work up the courage to walk into the blood clinic. The sterile smell filled my nostrils as I grabbed the clipboard from the front desk.

I sat down on one of the hard, lavender-coloured chairs and began to fill out the medical forms.

Feeling well? Yes. Taking any medication? No. Recent AIDS test? Yes. Any travel? No.

When I was done with the forms, a small, grey-haired nurse escorted me through the waiting room and to the rear of the clinic. Her orange crocs squeaked with every step on the linoleum.

Can you really ever go home?

thumb Pocza_neighbourhood_thumbI approach the community from the main route of anywhere in south Calgary — Anderson Road. I notice Bonavista peeking up from behind tiny hills that border the houses from the noisy traffic of the four-lane freeway. Even with a quick glance from my car, moving nearly 80 km/h I know that it's a safe and friendly place to be.

I no longer have an actual house to go back to in Bonavista, but being here today activates some of my most vivid memories.

Life in the Slopes, a Calgary neighbourhood

slopes thumbIn Calgary's far west, on the southern side, lies the community of the Slopes.

A barred, brown metal gate blocks the private road at the entrance to it. A simple painted wooden street sign proclaims that the lands and the road are private property, owned and managed by the Slopes Community Association Ltd.

You cannot enter...But I can.

64 seconds where time stood still

the-start thumbWhen I drove up the steep, winding road to the top of the bobsled track at Canada Olympic Park I had no idea what to expect.

Images of Georgian rider, Nodar Kumaritashvili's fatal luge crash on the opening day of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics were passing through my mind. But I quickly shut them out.

This was a bobsled — much safer and more secure than a luge, and piloted by a professional driver with experience on the national team. "It's going to be fine." I told myself, just a free rush of adrenaline on a beautiful, sunny winter's day.