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Irma Scarff had a 35-year ride with heroin that took her to the mean streets of Canada's largest cities and to a cell in the notorious Kingston Penitentiary for women.
The woman is talking with a raspy voice. She says it's from the mould in the hotel where she's found herself living lately. "I share the washroom with about 10 men - I can't shower because the tub is so filthy," says Jean, not her real name.
The Salvation Army soup kitchen was buzzing with the latest gossip. The RCMP had responded to a chick fight here the previous night. Esther saw the fight and launched her 5 foot, 2 inch lightweight frame across the room to help her friend.
Maureen Routledge is matter-of-fact about her groundbreaking career as the first Canadian woman to become a licensed aircraft engineer. She’s also a bit cryptic about her personal life.
Eight days after the Berlin Wall fell the phone rang late at night. It was November 17, 1989, and one of my inlaws rattled on with excitement from Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Ruth Massie sits just two blocks from the Salvation Army soup kitchen where Nora Jim is lecturing me.
Three Kaska teens ambled along the Alaska Highway near Upper Liard last weekend, dangerously close to the solid centre line. They seem bored and without any goal or destination.
There's an aroma of shepherd's pie wafting from the Salvation Army kitchen as I enter the old building for my shift one morning last month. I chop veggies here.
June Raymond was so excited about becoming a senior that she snuck into the Golden Age Society under age. This spry woman was only 53.
Brenda Smith drank heavily between the ages of 13 and 19. Now 23, she's pretty but says her behaviour when drunk was not. "I was in government care since I was a baby."
A boy in a black hoodie with shoulders hunched shuffles his way towards me on a downtown street in Whitehorse. There’s a gash on his face now covered by a scab. We’re acquainted, so I ask, “What’s up with the road rash?”
Donald Gordon, nicknamed Ducky, tells me he wakes up in his car at 4 a.m. daily. He says that’s where he lives.
Garry Chaplin rocks my world. I’m unsure if he knows it. Garry is autistic. Or not. Experts couldn’t agree when he was diagnosed two decades ago. To me he’s an enigma.
Yukoners use their sagging detached garages to indulge their passions. In Old Town, Whitehorse that can be tinkering with trucks, building projects, and most often storing their treasures that can’t fit into the small houses.
Frederick Peacock once accepted a job where life expectancy was 45 minutes. He was a teenager, his buddy was doing it and it sounded like it would be fun.
My roommate's daughter was killed here in Whitehorse and the person who did it still walks free, never caught. Angel Carlick died just before her high school graduation in May 2007.
Whitehorse turned into Buenos Aires on Victoria Day long weekend. No, not the beach of Buenos Aires - the dump. Oh, excuse me, I should say the landfill.
When the Grace Community Church congregation begins their rollicking Sunday service across the street from me in Whitehorse's Old Town, I try not to pass judgement. But I fail. I judge by appearances.
I'm sitting in a tiny gingerbread-trim cottage in Whitehorse's Old Town. There's lace on the windows, Heidi-style wooden chairs and strong coffee on the stove. Cedar lines the sunlit breakfast nook.
In a back-alley apartment on the outside edge of Whitehorse's Old Town, Crystal Papequash's deepest wish came true two days before Christmas.