Thanks, Peter­bor­ough, for four great years

The Peterborough Examiner - - OPINION - COLIN TESKEY GUEST COLUM­NIST

The two things I knew about Peter­bor­ough were Trent Univer­sity and The Petes. That was it. I had no idea what I was get­ting my­self into when I loaded up my car and made Peter­bor­ough my home in the sum­mer of 2013.

The first house I looked at was a place on Park St. Upon ar­riv­ing, there were two cop cars pulled up in front. My mom and I stepped out of the car and as we got closer to the front porch, suit­cases and clothes started get­ting hurled out the front door. The cur­rent ten­ant was be­ing evicted, and the land­lord came out to the front steps ac­com­pa­nied by two burly po­lice of­fi­cers and asked my mom and I point blank, “Still in­ter­ested? We po­litely de­clined.

My next stop was a base­ment apart­ment owned by a 70-year-old widow. She took one look at my lanky, 21-year-old frame and said “no par­ty­ing, and no uh­mmm, you know, pil­low-wrestling with vis­i­tors.” NEXT.

The fi­nal home we looked at was nes­tled be­tween Bethune and McDon­nell streets, $450 a month, ev­ery­thing in­cluded, and I’d be liv­ing with five Trent Stu­dents. Seemed like a win-win.

I had to wake up at 3:30 in the morn­ing to start my job as a pro­ducer/an­chor for the morn­ing show. I pulled out of my drive­way early in the morn­ing and drove down Bethune to a stop sign. While I was stopped I heard a knock on the win­dow. The per­son was wear­ing next to no clothes, a pound of makeup, and heels. I slammed my foot on the gas, and let me tell you I never ar­rived to work quicker and more alert in my en­tire four years on the job.

I lasted in that place a year be­fore I moved into a two-bed­room apart­ment in the down­town core that was lit­tered with bed­bugs. I even­tu­ally would move four times in four years, even­tu­ally set­tling in East City.

There was a lot a 21-year-old city boy from Ot­tawa had to learn.

Sto­ries of Corey Perry win­ning a Stanley Cup are peo­ple’s pride and joy. Their love of hockey is richly en­twined with their OHL team, the Peter­bor­ough Petes. Not many OHL teams can boast the alumni the Petes have. Steve Yz­er­man, Chris Pronger, Mickey Red­mond, and yes even Wayne Gret­zky for a few games. (It’s true, look it up). Hockey, I would find, is deeply rooted in peo­ple’s blood, but I would find so is lacrosse. Lacrosse play­ers like Shawn Evans and John Grant Jr. are god­like fig­ures in a town of 80,000 peo­ple.

The love of lo­cal sports he­roes stretches into lo­cal pol­i­tics, busi­ness own­ers, and hot-but­ton is­sues as well. Trust me, ev­ery day was dif­fer­ent work­ing in the news­room. It was ev­ery­thing but a “sleepy” me­dia mar­ket. When peo­ple tried to burn down a mosque, it made na­tional head­lines, and caused

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau to make an ap­pear­ance. It high­lighted just how pow­er­ful Peter­bor­ough peo­ple can be when they work to­gether to help a cause big­ger than them­selves.

It was in that mo­ment that I re­al­ized Peter­bor­ough is a town that al­ways finds a sil­ver lin­ing.

I met many peo­ple who got up each and ev­ery day who made it their mis­sion to make their com­mu­nity a bet­ter place. It was in­fec­tious, and I even­tu­ally started to feel proud to call it home. You cer­tainly wel­comed me in a strange way, but man, were you ever hard to leave.

As I packed up the last of my things to move to Toronto, I couldn’t help but break down. Peter­bor­ough gave me the per­fect start to my ca­reer, and who knows, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to call it home again.

Thank you, Peter­bor­ough.

Colin Teskey is a Toronto-based ra­dio broad­caster who worked in Peter­bor­ough un­til ear­lier this year.

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