Interviewing Dawn and Glen Worthington is like interviewing one person — they speak with one voice about almost everything, checking with one another constantly for consensus.
There’s something tremendously pleasant about talking to two people who are attractive, upbeat, happy with their lives and clearly crazy about each other even after 18 years together.
The Worthingtons moved to Watson Lake from Prince George. Glen was going to a job with Tsa cho Timber at Lower Post. He remembered Prince George before it got big and busy, and he and Dawn wanted to rediscover the pleasures of life in a small town.
They have not been disappointed. The residents here are friendly and welcoming, they said.
The easy access to camping and fishing has been a source of satisfaction to this fit young couple, as well. The golf course has proved a big plus to Glen, who is mad for golf and says the course at Upper Liard is challenging and well-maintained.
The gas and food prices in Watson Lake were a shock, and they both wish for an indoor, year-round swimming pool and a better facility for working out. But, on the whole, they are more than pleased with their new community.
While recognizing the conflict that sometimes occurs between the two cultures who share this area, Glen and Dawn claim to be personally unaffected.
Their common answer to the question about the impact of global issues was much the same; while acknowledging everyone will sooner or later feel the impact of what occurs in the rest of the world, this couple maintains their high energy and cheerful demeanor by “not thinking about depressing stuff.”
Glen says he is well aware that this is a head-in-the-sand stance, but he’s right, also, in saying it seems to be the most popular one in the general population these days.
The issue of local schools, a continuing source of discussion in the town, is one that doesn’t worry this couple: their children are grown and not living with them.
This fall, they had the opportunity to make another dream come true. The lease for the concession in the recreation centre came up and they won the bid. They’d long been interested in doing something involving the food business.
Growlies opened on the first of October and so far has proved to be a hit.
In a town with a dearth of choices when it comes to eating somewhere other than the kitchen of family or friends, it has been a boon to get pizza, wraps, burgers, fries and other fast-food items served fresh and tasty from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The long hours and hard work of running such a business, designed for tension, doesn’t seem to faze these two in the least.
Dawn says she is a total people person, enjoying dealing with folks under almost any circumstances.
She admits to getting a bit overwhelmed sometimes, especially when things get really busy. And lest we think she is a bit too good to be true, she also says, when asked what makes her angry, that it’s Glen who riles her. She yells at him, I am told, and this venting gets her over her ire quickly.
Glen says he is a person with a short temper, but he doesn’t yell at Dawn; he talks it over with her, and that’s probably because it isn’t Dawn that makes him mad; its bad drivers and incompetence.
Both agree anger is a waste of time and try to get over it and move on as quickly as possible.
Being nonjudgemental helps them get along with just about everyone and adds greatly to their enjoyment of life, they said.
But even the closest couples can have different opinions about stuff.
Like the seasons.
Glen is one of those rare people who loves winter — everything about it and for as long as it lasts. Dawn hates winter — everything about it and for as long as it lasts.
This difference was revealed most strikingly when I asked them what makes them happy.
Glen’s reply was instant and clearly heartfelt: “Waking up every morning with my sweetheart.”
Dawn was more succinct: “Sunshine, with heat in it.”
They are planning on satisfying both with a vacation in Cuba this winter because that’s how this couple works; taking care of one another’s happiness makes everything good for both.
When asked what they thought their family and friends, and the community, may think of them, they are again in agreement.
“Our families are proud of us,” says Dawn. “They think it’s great that we are happy and doing what we want to do.”
“The community must think we’re all right if the volume of business is anything to go by,” adds Glen.
The question of spirituality caused the first lull in this lively and playful exchange.
“There’s something,” Glen said. “There’s an entity. I guess I believe we keep getting thrown down here till we get it right.”
What would they like people to know about them?
“We’re happy people. We care about others.”
And finally, what could they tell us that we might not know about them?
“I am status Gitanmaax, from Hazelton,” says Dawn, with pride.
“And I am Kaska, also status,” Glen says.
The statements reflect the couple’s healthy pride in themselves and one another.
Watson Lake is benefitting from their decision to move to the town, if Growlies is any indication.
Tor Forsberg is a freelance writer who lives in Watson Lake.