Colleen then went on to say that she listened to whatever “form of music I could get my hands on, from hiding out in my brother Tim’s Mustang listening to 8 track tapes, or sneaking one of my siblings transistor radios into bed at night and listening under the covers with the volume down low.”
Colleen says, back in those days, she would listen to country music on GX 94 out of Yorkton, or Regina stations, or even Edmonton’s CHED.
“Yes,” she says, “We could pick up CHED way out in eastern Saskatchewan on clear nights!”
At school in Norquay, Colleen would appear in school plays and often take in musical performances in other towns around the province. She also did plenty of “reading out loud” for her class mates, especially in Grade 9. “My English teacher seemed to like my voice as she would get me to read out loud for most of the class, most of the time,” she remembers. (see map)
As her school years continued, Colleen found that her aptitudes for subjects such as maths and sciences was lacking, but -- as seems to be the case with plenty of people who wind up in broadcasting -- arts, English and social sciences were her strong points.
By the mid-80s, her high school days were coming to an end, and the big question for her was “What do I do now?”
That question was easily answered in the spring of 1985, when a poster for a place called The Prairie Broadcast Training Institute in Regina showed up on a school office wall. (Remember, this is the same spot where Dave Baker received his grounding in the broadcast basics.)
This was when, says Colleen, “the adventure began.”
Colleen recalls that Saul and Ginger Jacobson ran their school for five years and that she was in their first graduating class, in 1985.
In fact, Colleen is full of nothing but praise for her time spent with the Jacobsons. “They are amazing people and we have kept in touch over the years. The stuff I learned during my 3 month course has stayed with me all my life.”
Now, about that name. Colleen Gazdewich. A bit of a tongue twister for most of us, wouldn’t you say?
Colleen and Saul quickly came up with a solution. “What is your middle name?” Saul asked her.
“Valentine,” was the answer.
And Colleen Valentine has been her “radio name” ever since.
We’ll continue with her on-air adventures soon, but now for the recipe part.
(Remember, these stories are all part of our Saskatchewan radio ‘n recipes series.)
Colleen tells us that is was tough to write a recipe for this soup, being Ukrainian and being taught by her mom, Colleen says she rarely uses measuring utensils. This is a variation of her mom's dumpling soup, which Colleen claims “cures everything and is sooo good!”
2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 stalk celery, diced (with leaves)
1 fryer chicken, cut up
2 or 3 whole cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk or water (as required to make dough "droppable from spoon".
In a small amount of cooking oil sweat the onion, carrots and celery and garlic. Add chicken and parsley and cover with cold water in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until chicken is cooked - approximately 2 to 3 hours to bring out the flavor. Strain broth. Remove chicken meat from bones and add to soup if you wish, and keep or strain out the vegetables. My mom takes everything out, I sometimes put the vegetables and chunks of chicken in.
Beat eggs and add flour, salt and milk or water, alternately, stirring until dough leaves the sides of the pan. Incorporate the eggs, 1 at a time, forming a sticky dough.
Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add spoon sized balls of dumpling dough and simmer until dumplings rise.
“It's so good, my mom raised 9 of us on it. It would go good with bannock ”:)
(Other Saskatchewan radio people soon to be profiled in this space include Dean Bear, Rod Parker, Neil Bergen and Ron Spizzirri, just to name a few.)
(See video for interesting radio developments.)