A few days ago, when we were preparing for a yard sale, I decided it was time to sort through the stuff. But, after five years, the newspapers were disintegrating and damp. I tried to dig through them, but there were creepy-crawlers, cobwebs and unknown brown blotches on them.
But in one box, I could see a few papers - three-hole-punch lined paper with printing in pencil. The writing was legible - which means it wasn't mine.
Before reporters had BlackBerrys and iPads, we wrote everything in notebooks. Reporters don't have nice handwriting.
I pulled out the crumpled paper. It was part of my Ryan Malcolm file - a file that once took over my entire desk for the better part of 2003 to '04.
I sat down on the baby stroller I was supposed to be cleaning for our yard sale and began to read the school assignment. A teacher or student must have sent it to me years ago.
"Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2004
Good afternoon, Mrs. Dempster and fellow classmates.
The first-ever Canadian Idol is Mr. Ryan Malcolm.
During the summer of 2003, and throughout the fall, Canadian Idol made headlines throughout Canada. Including me, many other Canadians were voting for our Ryan Malcolm. Well, our hopes, dreams and wishes came true on September 16, 2003."
That summer - 2003 - was a magical time for Kingston.
American Idol was in full swing and CTV put out a Canadian version. There was supposed to be a Top 10, but somehow, it was extended to a Top 11 and Ryan got enough phone votes to nab the 11th spot.
"Do you know the craziest thing Ryan Malcolm ever did? He tried to dye his hair blond but it turned bright orange and he wore bell-bottom pants with Doc Martens up to his knees. He said it was the 'Nerdy Bad Boy' look.
During Canadian Idol, the hair stylist and make-up artists worked on his...