Growing up in the thriving mecca of Welland, Ontario was a fascinating and bizarre experience for me. It was basically like living in an industry and scenery-free Twin Peaks. (I can’t confirm that Welland has a Black Lodge, but I’m assuming that’s the case, given all of the melting grandmother mummies and other wild happenings that have happened there over the years.)
One of the most the most impressive and consistent bastions of Welland’s rather unique charm is the city’s paper, The Welland Tribune. I love The Trib. The paper does its best to cover local issues in the face of what I’m assuming is a tiny-even-by-abysmal-industry-standards budget. And they gave me my first taste of fame when one of their photographers picked me out of the crowd at a 1989 craft show and got me to pose with a bear (they also erroneously described me as a “lover of poetry” in a 1997 story, but I forgive them for that).
I also consider the paper a trailblazer, in a sense, because it eschewed that silly and overrated thing called copy editing long before the bigger and more reputable papers even considered outsourcing it.
This is why The Welland Tribune is often called The Welland Turbine by locals, and why spotting its bold typos and mistakes (and its utterly perplexing editorial choices in general) has become a rather popular hobby for the locals and the homesick.
Up until tonight, I considered the following some of The Turbine’s Greatest Hits:
- Their intense coverage of Ontario’s controversial “Pit Pull Ban,” as the headline read
- The time someone decided that “Leave The Roasting To Chestnuts” was the prefect headline for a story about children being burned in Christmas fires
But none of that compares to the amazing promotional email that my mother just received.
Here are two things I love about this message:
1. It’s addressed to my grandfather, who has been dead for nine years.
2. Everything else.
So keep up the good word, Welland Turbine. Who needs an industry or a functional economy or any hope for the future when I have you?