Style

Buddy Guy and Steve Strongman: Another Part of Blues History in Kitchener

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Blues musician Steve Strongman

(This post appeared on a blog for a 2,000-seat live theatre, where blues legend Buddy Guy was playing, with Steve Strongman opening. Published March 2016.) It all started with a man named Smith. Glenn Smith, to be exact. You may know him as the owner of Ethel’s Lounge in Uptown Waterloo, but if you’ve been following the blues in Kitchener over the past few decades, you also know him...

Local German Author Visiting University of Waterloo

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(This bulletin piece announced the visit of a local author who writes and publishes in German. Published February 2015. To see the published version, click on the link and scroll down to the third story.) A murder, a mysterious beating, a suspicious arrest: all happen at the world-famous Hannover fairgrounds during a computer exhibition in this local author’s first novel, published in German...

Books in vending machines and God’s Busted Knee

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SuKuLTuR book in a vending machine

(This bulletin notice announced an author visit. Published February 2016. To see the published version, click on the link and scroll down to the third story.) Even though you don’t know him, you may already feel a type of familiarity with author Marc Degens: he writes with a self-deprecating humour common in Canada, and he would also fit right in with our local startup culture. An accomplished...

Postcards in a Closet

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Katharina Wolf was born in a small town in Hungary in 1901. In 1914, the Great War broke out. In 1919, her hometown became part of Romania. In 1921, she became pregnant with her first child. What did she worry about? What did she want for her child? Using postcards Katharina wrote years later, discussions with one of her surviving grandchildren, and historical research about the times, writer...

Grace Butler in the Spotlight

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Dance student Grace Butler. Photo by Renata Templeton-Caughlin of Tempo Photography in Collingwood

(This article was published in just dance! magazine, in the summer 2015 issue.) “Come rain, come shine, come snow, come sleet, the show must go on.” Most dancers know that phrase, and many treat it as a personal creed. The dedication to their art drives them to be on stage, on time, no matter what. But for people like 12-year-old Grace Butler, her dedication has nothing to do with it...

Raising the Roof on Their Own Terms

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Heffner & Zimmermann families, circa 1965, in Rockway Gardens, Kitchener. Heffner Motors is in the background.

(This article was written for Heffner Motors, a Toyota and Lexus dealership in Ontario, for the local Chamber of Commerce magazine. Published December 2014.) In 1973, John Heffner had two options: raise the 32’ x 37’ roof and build a second floor up to it, or take down the roof, build the second floor, and then rebuild the roof. The first option was dangerous, and no general contractor would do...

Companies I’ve Helped

Lori Straus has written for FleetCarma.
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Masthead for Globe & Mail