Readers probably noticed last week a story on the front page of the Spotlight section about a novel called ‘Oil Change at Rath’s Garage.’ We’re hoping author Shari Narine will come through the area on a promotional tour one of these months. She worked 10 years for the Smoky River Express newspaper, which is a sister publication to The Leader. She was a good colleague, a good reporter and an editor with strong opinions on various subjects – not all of which we agreed with. For example, she was an advocate of the notion that it should be legally required that 50 per cent of elected positions in government be reserved for women, something this editorialist questioned, since it would create an artificial cap.
She had been gone for a few years – on to other things in other places and we didn’t expect to hear from her again. Then one day 10 years ago or so, an email from Shari arrived out of the blue.
‘Hi. Remember me?’ And she proceeded to tell an unlikely story (but true) about her and her husband taking their two young kids on a multi-year adventure to Bangladesh, as missionaries for the Mennonite Central Committee. And after that wrapped up, backpacking around Africa with their youngsters for a few more months!
More years went by. Again, we never expected to hear from her again. Then a couple of weeks ago came another email: ‘Hi. Remember me? I just published my first novel!’ Etc. etc. We’ll have to stick around another 10 years or so just to find out what comes next.