Using our fully modern, luxuriously upholstered and completely imaginary Saskatchewan radio recall time machine, we whisk you now back to the fall of 1985, just prior to the madness that would be Expo 86,(which is totally irrelevant to our story but a fun fact) and an upstart broadcast college located in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Saul is the boss. Colleen is a student ready to graduate from the school and head out to the big bad world of the real radio industry.
Her full name is Colleen Gazdewich. Rolls rippingly off the tongue, does it not? Not!
Remember, these were the old days when radio on-air names had to be short and snappy and dull. Men on the air had names such as Brian, Bill, Jim, Dan, Mark and Scott. Female names were equally as bland. Unless one worked for the CBC, where a handle such as Nostranamo Ingleleskevonofskayter would land you a prime on-air slot quicker than a Guy Lafleur slap shot.
But, we digress.
Colleen Gazdewich was born in February of 1967, in Canora, Saskatchewan, so she was too young to have made it to Yasgur’s Farm for Woodstock. Still, the farming life was certainly a big part of her growing years. There were 9 (count’em, 9) kids in the family and all of them, along with Mom and Dad, spent years on a farm near Hyas, Saskatchewan. As Colleen remembers it, “When I was in grade 6 we moved into town. We spent my grade 6 to 12 years in Norquay, Saskatchewan. I was born to love and help people connect and to heal.”
Even though she was (gasp) born in the sixties, Colleen still managed to grow up around the sights and sounds of radio and television. She recalls that her Mom always had a radio playing somewhere in the house and we watched the local TV stations from Yorkton, Saskatchewan. I thought it was magic that someone could be speaking to me through a radio.”
Perhaps foreshadowing her later career path, Colleen Gazdewich tells us she won a public speaking award in Grade 4. Of those early school years, Colleen says she was “influenced very much by my sister-in-law Pam Gazdewich, who was my teacher in Grade 2. She is an artist and she introduced me to art and music and to push myself to explore the world.”
Stay open to these postings for more of Colleen’s story, and her recipe for a totally whack dumpling soup.
(These postings are part of an upcoming publication which will celebrate radio and recipes from Saskatchewan radio veterans.)