Home Month and Year January 2022 Parker’s Pen – January 2022

Parker’s Pen – January 2022

David Parker

Letters to the Editor are always a good read; written by people who have a genuine gripe, want to have some fun, or just want to bring something they feel strongly about to other people’s attention.

I enjoyed the missive written by Governor General Award-winning Calgary architect Fred Valentine who complained of the four-square box clad with Soviet-style glazing that will become our new event centre.

I agree with Mr. Valentine – surely, we could expect a Central Library kind of design with some pizzaz for $608.5 million.

The Saddledome design remains – for the time being – iconic Calgary.


I don’t often scan flyers but an item jumped out at me in a Canadian Tire sheet. I just can’t imagine someone spending $999.99 (on sale) for a Christmas tree, no matter if it had Aurora music and colour changing LED lights. What could the Mustard Seed have done with that money?


Irwin Drugs was pharmacy years ago on the corner on 8th Street and 17th avenue S.W. owned by paraplegic Mel Irwin. He used to say: “It’s bad enough being sick without having to pay for it.” Which meant his prescriptions were really low cost.

I was reminded of him paying for parking at the former Children’s Hospital at the posted rate of $4.50 per hour. Bad enough having to be there, and not knowing how long a visit would take so better buy enough not to worry.

Wonder where the revenues are used?


Some people just love what they do – and stay around a lifetime in doing it. It’s great to go for a beer and nachos at Nick’s Steakhouse & Pizza and still say hello to Nick Petros who founded the popular eatery across from McMahon Stadium in 1979. And nonagenarian Joe Giuffre’s big complaint about the pandemic is that it kept him away from his office at Avenue Living too long.


Providing a postage-paid return envelope is a smart marketing tool for charities to encourage a follow-up donation. But I was really disappointed in receiving one from a local charity I support urging that ‘Your gift stays in your city’. I found the statement to be quite selfish. Yes, we support local organizations but don’t try and persuade me not to care about people in other parts of the world who desperately need help from those more fortunate.

Calgary-based not-for-profits like Operation Eyesight that has been preventing treatable vision problems since 1963 and HOPEthiopia, established 20 years ago to provide care and live to the marginalized in East Africa, particularly with the orphaned and widowed in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are just as deserving of our giving.


Attending the well-run Business in Calgary dinner honouring Calgary’s visionary business leaders was the first time in several months for many of us to sit down at crowded tables.

What a pleasure to enjoy fellowship with good conversation over a hearty meal. Let’s trust we can have the opportunity in 2022 for many more occasions to be as relaxed and forget about pandemics for a night.


Final words: Confidence is the feeling you have before you really understand the problem.