Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Long Tail Of British Columbia's Pioneer Online Citizen Journalist.


Charlie Smith really did get me thinking with that damnable piece of his last week.

About all kinds of things.

But mostly about whether or not poli-blogging actually matters any more than, say, spitting into the wind or yelling at the radio.

And whenever that happens I can't help thinking about my friend Mary.

Who left behind an invaluable public record of all that went down in the BC Rail travesty and really was the best there ever was at this thing.

For all kinds of reasons.

Including her fearlessness.

And her fairness.

And her friendship.

And, most of all I think, her ability to get all kinds of folks in the bloggodome (and that included her readers and a few proMedia journos even) to work together to get to the bottom of things.

All that and she didn't have a cynical bone in her body.


But here's the real thing....

If I were to ask Mary today, as in right now this fine Sunday morning, a mealy-mouthed, quasi-existential question like 'Does any of this really matter?' she would just ignore me and ask if I'd figured out where all that money for the 'No' side in the Translink referendum was coming from yet.

And then we would talk about all the comings and goings of our kids and her grandson for a couple of hours before we really got into it.

Mary passed away two years ago this week.

Gosh I miss her.

And that image at the top really is where the traffic comes from local sites as of today, as in right now....



Unknown said...

Stop being maudlin, RossK! The work you do is very important and appreciated by me and countless others. Besides there's too much crap going on to rest at the oars.

Don F. said...

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

Kim said...

Every so often I open up an old post I wrote and Mary lives there, in the comments. Her kindness, wisdom and encouragement make my eyes well up every time, just as your tribute does today

RossK said...

Mark M--

Alrighty then....

How 'bout I try being Sammy instead?


Thanks Don--




In fact, that's precisely what I did earlier this morning.

'Twas fun.


Grant G said...

I too still get an amazing amount of pageviews that are linked from Mary`s site...

My numbers are very similar..

Not being a trained writer, Mary often sent my writing tips and critiques, as well as praise, she was always positive, even with her critique/writing lessons..

Over 2 million pageviews later, 2 years since she passed to the other, brighter side...And Mary`s site still ranks number 2 as source for views..


Thanks Mr. K

Good Day

Anonymous said...

I too miss our BC Mary. I enjoyed her somewhat naughty humor and had many laughs about it.

When I learned of her illness, it knocked the breath out of me. Some times life just isn't fair and losing Mary, was one of those times.

Unknown said...

If you're going to be Sammy you'll have to be Pricklier

cfvua said...

BC Mary was indeed a special lady. With a great way of knowing when something didn't smell right. We all need to help get the stories out like she would have. Sites like this one are way more important than we think. Keep up the good work.

RossK said...


A couple of things...

First....Mary had already had an amazingly full life before she even started blogging. She was in her 80's when she got sick and through it all she was amazed by, and tremendously thankful for, our healthcare system.

I know, from personal experience, that correspondence via the Interwebz flattens the affect of most, if not just about everyone, who partakes in it. This was not the case with Mary. What you got online was Mary Mackie, straight-up. In her last weeks she told me she didn't want to talk on the phone because she was losing her actual voice and her stamina. That most definitely wasn't the case with what came through via the keyboard.



Can't do either Edith P. or Edna Boil.

But I might be able to hold up my half of the Organ Emporium owners <a href=">as Tex.


RossK said...


Thanks for the kind words.

Thing about Mary was, she rarely went on hunches...In fact, she was always working sources, from Anon-O-Mice to big proMedia organ grinding editors and everyone in between. And while this often went on behind the scene she always showed her work on the blog...I think that's one of the reasons that some of the proMedia folks got so upset with her...Me, I reckon that is one of the first rules of real blogging.

(the showing your work part, I mean)


G West said...

I've been going back through my correspondence with Mary - which extended - as yours did too, I'm sure, over several years and two things came immediately to mind.
The first thing was how much she cared for and how loyal she was to her family - even including a son (Keith I think his name is) which most of us knew nothing whatever about because he lives in Australia and how much she'd done for Nadina's career a professional musician...
The second was how she'd decided, at a point in her life where she'd finished with the heavy lifting of being an editor, a mother and a busy professional woman for a standard lifetime, that she was going to get stuck in (for as long as she had to live) and try to make a difference for the province and the country. And she did that, despite the distances, the difficulties and the illnesses, right up to the end.
I wonder how she'd evaluate the effort the Anonomice have put in since.
Thanks as always for helping to keep her work alive.

RossK said...


Everytime I go digging in the archives Mary is there.