Growing Up In Watson - Black and White

FTLComm - Watson Lake Yukon - Tuesday, January 15, 2002

The little princess on this page (top) is fifteen year old Twila Berg, at least that's how old she was in the spring of 1983 when these pictures were taken in Watson Lake Yukon. I simply don't remember why these pictures were taken but it might have been for the yearbook. Anyhow, I do remember going to the music room and clicking off some images of these young women.

The thing that seems so awkward about these pictures is that they were taken nineteen years ago. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that these many years later I would be scanning the negatives that I developed in my own darkroom and working with them in photoshop. Though we already had owned our first computer for a full year at the time there was no indication then that one day images would be handled routinely in a computer rather in a darkroom.

Twila is now a married lady, no doubt with children and a career on the side but that would be no surprise because she and each of her friends were excellent students and great people to know. My best recollection of Twila was one afternoon I popped into a biology class, Twila was by then in grade eleven and had one of the best biology teachers I have

ever seen work, Greg Bell, originally from Regina. Greg liked to do most of the work orally and it was a contest between he and his students (about seven in that class) to see if they could snap out the answer to his question in machine gun fashion. They were all so intent in the process that I doubt if any of the students or the teacher saw me enthrawaled with this dynamic learning process and Twila jumping off her stool to snap out an answer.

Above we see Rita Holt, Cindy Thompson, Sandy Miller, Lisa Armstrong and Twila Berg at front in the centre.

Sandy Miller is seen here alone. I really like this picture because it shows a very different side of this gifted athlete. A fearless downhill skier who competed in Northern Regional Games and B.C. Winter games in both downhill and Super G.

We played around with some poses and in this one the genuine individual characters of each of these young women comes across. Lisa Armstrong, (seen below on the left) was a great organiser and I recall her being the head person on a yearbook committy. Lisa was not born in Watson Lake like the other four girls but had moved there at the start of this school year and her charm and good sense made it easy for her to become a part of this group and of the school in general. While Cindy Thompson was a shy and reserved person she was the sensative emotion glue that bonded everyone to her and made working with her and the class she was in an easy task.

Rita Holt kneeling in the foreground of this picture was at the time this picture taken an outstanding gymnast. Rita has a family now and is a social worker in Watson Lake. She is Kaska (a very small band only living in Watson Lake, Ross River and Fort Liard) Rita

Taken about the same time is this interesting picture of the high school girls hockey team. As there coach they were a delight to work with but with the distances so great they had no opportunity to play anyone else. But that did not stop them from loving the experience and the smiles on their faces tell a lot about their hockey playing.

In late February the temperatures begin to moderate in the Yukon and this picture and the one below show some fun activities organised as a special event at the elementary school. On the right is Mark Broadhagen and Alexis, both in grade seven at the time in a toboggan race.