For The Record
Carol is irked when documents are not dated properly, she is saddened by gaps in the company record of, say, the succession of branch managers. She knows the evanescence of digital records is a challenge for her craft.
She has an ear for how the documents tell stories that weren't obvious when they were composed. For instance, that handwritten "List of Lady Managers," started in 1978, reveals both the growing power of women in the company as society headed for the 1980s, as well as their continued marginalization by category.
The "Record of Revolvers" issued to branch managers paints a picture of Alberta gun culture and speaks of a time before pervasive surveillance technology challenged it.
Spending an hour with Carol can change the way you look at the texts of your own life, those "points of time" that drop in in email boxes, are read, smiled over, maybe forwarded or responded to, but then essentially forgotten because not preserved and unable to be recalled.
Earlier today, Rick Melnychuk sent me and the other Sons of Mitches (our weekend pond hockey team in the University of Alberta tournament) one of those points of time. For the record:
Gentlemen & Lady:
What a weekend, 3 and 4 but every game we lost was a barnburner to the end.
Great job Sons of Mitches.
For sure, that email carries a you-had-to-be-there, small-h-historical kind of historical significance. But it's a text worth saving, just the same. It tells the story of a point in time in our oldtimer hockey community, a point worth connecting to and building into a solid line.
And, with Carol in mind, printing it out and putting on a shelf, too.