Precious Luxury

Tim Reid, MacDonald Island COO, shared with me that he loves getting up before everyone else on summer holidays with his family, sitting down at the table with a coffee and reading the newspaper.

“There is something so special about being able to do this simple thing,” he said.

He’s right.

After a particularly tepid night in the home of my youth – the weather has been unusually hot this July – I spent the first 30 minutes of my day in precious silence, sipping on a nice cup of coffee at the table in our family kitchen, reading the Regina Leader-Post.

I lingered over the tumultuous (at least in this province) news that they have decided to replace the aging Mosaic Stadium in Regina, home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“You deserve to have something decent,” I said to my brother Doug the day before in Watrous, as his eyes pinched closed and his nose twitched to the right.

“I don’t know,” he said shaking his head, begrudging the $278 million expenditure that will balloon to $675 by the time the loans are paid off.

I read about another mud bog edition of the Craven Country Jamboree, wondering when it ceased to become the Big Valley Jamboree – it was the original home of the annual whoop-up in Camrose.

From story to story, it was a delight to open up the paper all the way and dive into the words, images and yes, God forbid, advertisements. All of it is interesting to me, a window into a world that encompasses several members of my family who still call Saskatchewan home.

I’m guessing – and it is only a guess – that this luxury of stretching out over a morning newspaper is a shared experience that all of us can tap into at some level or another. Even my wife, resistant to many of the goings on in the world, can be seen absorbing a newspaper’s treasures when a copy lands on our dining room table.

I wonder if the industry can channel this precious luxury as it contemplates how to avoid extinction. Or, is it inevitable that the physical newspaper will be supplanted by a digital version? Can the feel of the newsprint be effectively and inalterably replaced by the feel of the iPad screen or mouse? I’m on the fence, but then again, I’m in that middle-age category that may never fully extricate itself from its agrarian roots.

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