Published in The Great North Arrow, July 2019: Introduction

Introduction
“Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name.” - Jagger/Richards
- jim Young

Hello to all the readers of the Great North Arrow. I am excited to join the team with my own column that I hope you will enjoy reading each month.

I’d like to introduce myself and tell you a bit about my background.

The first thing you will note about me when you read my byline is my name is jim Young. No, that’s not a typo. The “j” in lower case is how I print my first name. It helps to keep me humble which can be kinda hard for a writer sometimes whenever he or she sees their name in print.

The capital “Y” in my last name however, signifies my pride in my family name.

I first lived in Stroud, Ontario and then Painswick before it was annexed by the City of Barrie. In the 50s and 60s these both were small communities where everyone knew your name.

The people were laid back, friendly and always looking out for their neighbours’ best interest.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that when My Shirley and I left the workforce three years ago, we would seek out a place that has managed to retain those same values. The little town of Loring seemed like the perfect spot to call home.

As an added bonus, the people from the surrounding communities that are collectively known as Argyle, as well as the many other villages, towns and cities served by the Great North Arrow seem to have retained this same sense of what it truly means to be a “community”.

We are thrilled to have been so warmly welcomed to our new home by so many of our neighbours.

My first experience in the work force began at the early age of 8 when I was hired at my father’s and uncle’s IGA in Stroud, sorting pop bottles for 25 cents an hour. I worked at many jobs there on weekends and during the summer until I finished school and eventually became Produce, Dairy and Frozen Food Manager.

But I was not interested in taking over the family business so I spread my wings and took on several jobs driving truck, pumping gas, a waste site caretaker, serving fast food, janitorial, retail, working in factories in sanitizing, storekeeping and shipping/receiving positions, data processing, customer service and eventually working my way up to top management positions.

Parallel to some of these jobs and using the skills I had learned at Georgian College I formed my own successful disc jockey and video taping businesses and later operated a vending machine business (with the help of partners) on the side.

Collectively My Shirley and I have raised three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

We live a simple life where our biggest thrill is watching the birds and wildlife wander onto our property in search of food from our Mountain Ash or Apple Trees and other treats they might find when in season.

I have been writing for myself for many years now beginning in highschool when I wrote poetry and song lyrics along with short stories.

Several years ago I began my first website - dogonaroot.com. There you will find a variety of my works including articles, memes, poetry and even some of my favourite recipes.

The subjects of my articles vary from philosophical to whimsical to opinions on current topics. Be forewarned, however, “Even I don’t always agree with my opinions.” I’m just as likely to play the Devil’s Advocate as I think it is important that everyone at least know all sides of every story before passing judgement.

Some of my articles are just plain silly so don’t always put too much thought into them. Many are just intended to be fun.

This mix is what you can expect to read in my column here. I hope my column will make you think or laugh or cry; perhaps all at the same time. Maybe you will learn something new about the world around you or about yourself as I do almost every time I sit down to write.

I look forward to your feedback on anything you read in my column whether you agree with me or not. As English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall once wrote, “I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

As a writer it’s always nice to hear when someone enjoys reading my column but it’s equally important to know if there was something my readers don’t like and why. This is the type of feedback that is most helpful and will help me grow as a writer and thereby entertain you more.

So I look forward to coming into your homes each month via the Great North Arrow and I hope you will look forward to reading my column.

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