Thursday, September 08, 2005

In One Fell Swoop: From First Mate To Captain

EDMONTON – Hi everyone! I'm Shelagh’s Caravan Colleague, Sue Campbell. While she takes a few days off with her husband at some romantic rendezvous, I've been dubbed Captain Caravan. So, I shall accept the title and dish you a little dirt while our host is off in the woods someplace.

Before we go on, that’s me in the middle of the picture at the top of this blog entry. This photo is fresh yesterday from the Guild lockout picket line in Edmonton. I’m flanked by my charming and talented colleagues Peter Brown – host of the CBC Edmonton pm show RadioActive and this summer’s network show The Circuit – and Dave Redel, the multi-talented western producer for the radio series Ideas.

Now that you’ve had a chance to look me in the eye, so to speak, let me tell you that the three of us – Natasha Aziz, Shelagh and I – have been on the road now for seven days and I'm happy to report that no one has tried to poison anyone in their sleep.

Not that we have been sleeping much.

So far, it's been six cities and 1,700 kilometers. Natasha has been very patient with Shelagh and I when we've spotted a lake just too stunning to not take the plunge.

And of course it wouldn't be a road trip without numerous visits to Tim Horton's. It's a great place to pick up lots of honey lemon tea for Natasha, who finally succumbed to the wicked head cold we've all been fighting since Day One. I clearly failed in my efforts to convert her from her trusty cold medicine to the healing powers of oregano oil...'though from the looks of how the negotiations are going, it would appear there's still time.

Speaking of oil, boy did the expletives fly when we dropped $85 to fill the tank of our Dodge Caravan at the Husky station in Radium.

*Note to selves: don't wait to gas up at a town with hot springs at the top of the Rockies.

Let me give you a picture of our routine, to which we've all adapted quite nicely because we are doing what's in our nature.

I'm kinda the organizational type, charting our route and calling ahead to fellow locked out CBC'ers. I let them know The Caravan is coming, hoping to connect on a day they're causing some ruckus.

Shelagh's sneaking in time to write her blogs and, of course, when we arrive at our destination, she's out there meeting with people and doing the interviews for our podcasts.

Natasha's spent a lot of our road time with a laptop on her knees, editting down our collection of interviews into a compact half-hour podcast. If it weren't for her skills and the amazing technologies of cell phones, laptops, digital editting and the Internet, The Caravan wouldn't have been possible.

It also wouldn't have been possible without the kindness of strangers. And wouldn't it be nice if some became friends?

The CBC is a network and often times you're only talking to people over the phone. You know their names, but not their faces, like Sue Elrington in Victoria, JJ Lee in Vancouver, Kim Tranacity in Edmonton. Now for us there are face to go with the names.

This is an awesome way to connect with people who are doing what we're doing all over the country. And even though we're locked out, we think The Caravan Unlocked will help bring Sounds Like Canada to a whole new level.

Funny how a little thing like a "labour disruption" can work out that way.

One last thing before I go: you asked for it and you've got it. We're introducing a new feature. By clicking here you can access Shelagh's itinerary for the next week or so.

We've haven't worked it out past Winnipeg yet because – hey! – we're optimists. But trust us, we'll keep adding to it if circumstances warrant. And please note that these dates are tenative because a good story could pull us off course.


- Sue

We encourage you to use the blog comment feature below to pass on your thoughts and/or you can write Shelagh while she’s on the road at:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's wonderful what you are doing. Because of a different affiliation, I'm still working for the lame-duck corpse in Montreal, and I find it at once heartbreaking and inspiring to see what my locked out collegaues are up to across the country. The corporation is weaker and more fragile than ever because of this lockout; the workers are stonger than anyone realized.

Good luck. Please say hi to all my former colleagues in Regina.


steve rukavina
cbc montreal

5:22 AM  

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