It’s not a normal Friday for Kelowna resident Paul Jackson if he doesn’t stop by the Kelowna Capital News building on Enterprise Way to pick up the weekly newspapers and have a chat with the staff.
Jackson has made the stop religiously for the last 22.5 years, adding up to nearly 1,100 times.
While he’s seen some changes to the building and some new faces at the newspaper, it’s the hospitality he receives that keeps him coming back weekly.
“I started picking up the newspaper on Friday. It gives me a chance to see and talk to the people and lets me get out of my apartment and have a good time,” he said.
“When staff recognize me coming from the door, they normally see me and say, ‘Hey look, here comes Jack.’”
Despite having a healthy and active schedule, Jackson’s life changed dramatically around the time he started visiting the newspaper in 1997.
On Jan. 20 of that year, he suffered the first of three brain aneurysms that occurred just days apart from one another.
Jackson said visiting the building has served as a coping mechanism as he’s continued along his healing journey.
“When I first started coming here, I was really, really bad. While one side of my body was totally injured, the other side was okay,” he recalled.
“After 11 years of rehabilitation, slowly but surely things started working again.”
Jackson said while there have been many memorable memories made while visiting the news centre, one particular occasion stood out like no other.
“When one of the managers left (Glenn Beaudry) that was a choker for me. Beaudry had been working with the newspaper for 25 years. He knew everything about Kelowna like you wouldn’t believe,” he said.
“I picked up tidbits of information from him over the last 22 years. It’s been interesting coming here, I hope you know that.”
On top of making the visit every Friday, Jackson keeps a busy schedule by doing daily workouts at a local pool and going to the gym.
During the conversation, Jackson described his relationship with Kelowna Capital News staff as inseparable.
“When I come in here, I’m hugged and I’m squeezed. Everyone is like family.”
Just like the last 20 years, Jackson has made it clear he plans to stop by the office for another 20 years to come.