Sault residents talk highlights of 2023, and look ahead to ‘24


The year 2023 is in the history books. First Local talked to residents about the past year and what they would like to see transpire in 2024.


Susan Quinton
Something cool in your life from 2023: “I had a ride in my brother’s ’65 Mustang. It was June and perfect weather. It was spur of the moment. The sound of the engine is unbelievable.” In 2024, would like to see:
“More caring and more giving all around. That’s not monumental, but if everybody could give a little more from their hearts and souls. Spread more kindness around, that’s what I say.”

Dan Borghese
Something cool in your life from 2023: “Our third grandson. Eli (born in October).”
In 2024, would like to see: “For the world to relax on all this war stuff, that one is obvious. For us, it’s
going to see the new grand-baby again. We only saw him once. Both our kids and our grandkids are in Ottawa. We’re looking forward to that trip.”


Jim Masters
Something cool in your life from 2023: “My first year at GFL, working for…the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
Maintenance. It’s a great place to work, good people. You never know what’s going to happen each day.”
In 2024, would like to see: “Definitely would like to see the price of groceries go down. What else…I’d
really like the City to take a little more action on the drug problem we have here. It seems we’re either not doing enough, or what we’re doing isn’t being done right.”


Sam Elliott
Something cool in your life from 2023: “Now that the last of the Covid restrictions are finally starting to go away, we did more family vacations, more outings. We’re able do a lot more with the kids.”
In 2024, would like to see: “The idea of more affordable groceries is huge. We have two kids now, and
we notice the prices, especially this year and last year…what used to be $120 is now $170 or $190…the common things like milk and eggs, produce, meats…it’s insane.”

Melissa P.
Something cool in your life from 2023: “Both of my parents beat cancer. That was something, amazing. My Dad was given six weeks (to live) and he survived and is cancer-free now. My Mom, she beat breast cancer.” In 2024, would like to see: “For our city to have something done about the drug issues. I think that’s a serious crisis and has to be addressed.”


Linda Royal
Something cool in your life from 2023: “My son got engaged. They haven’t set a date, yet.”
In 2024, would like to see: “I’d like to see more jails. A (facility with) jail on one side, rehab on the
other. Take your choice. If you’re committing crime to support your drug habit, stealing from people, you go to jail. That’s how it used to be. They go to jail for their crime and smarten up or they don’t.”

Matt Wagner
Something cool in your life from 2023: “We went with our kids to Great Wolfe Lodge in Traverse City. Spent the weekend there and went to the water park. My three nieces and my son. It was a great time.”
“I got my status card. I’m going to go back to school. I’m a security guard and have been a security guard for about 12 years. I want to study to get my PSW, and help people with addictions.” In 2024, would like to see: “The war in Ukraine. Would be nice to see the war end. I feel so bad for the people over there. I wish we could do more.”


Jonathan Bates (visiting from Kissimmee, FL)
Something cool in your life from 2023: “We took our first trip to Europe, we went to Italy. That was probably our biggest event in years. We were there nine days. We started in Venice and
then we took a tour where they took us on a bus down to Florence, and then from Florence down to Rome.” In 2024, would like to see: “I would just kind of like to see…the Democrats and the Republicans can’t get anything done. They can’t compromise on anything. I would just like to see them come together on even one or two items and try to get something done. I think everybody is sick of all the bickering. Like to see more unity.”


Jamie Garside
Something cool in your life from 2023: “Summer was great. Got to spend a lot of time with my family. We have a little toddler and I got to spend a lot of time outdoors with her. And my husband I went on a great hiking trip this summer. We went through Superior Parks. We went for the whole weekend and we did like
10 kilometres a day.” In 2024, would like to see: “For everybody to be a little more patient with each other. I think that would go far. I find people have lost patience since the pandemic. I just think it never hurts to have a little extra kindness.”

Annie V.
Something cool in your life from 2023: “My friend and I got to go to Europe this summer. That was pretty cool. We were pretty lucky to get to do that. We started in London, (then) Paris, Milan, Florence, Rome, Sorrento and Capri.” The food? “Delicious. Heaven on Earth.” In 2024, would like to see: “Ideally, and this will sound so cheesy, but if we could get even a step closer to World Peace.”

Stu Park
Something cool in your life from 2023: “I had a very, very pleasant surprise. My daughter from Toronto drove up. She didn’t tell us that she was going to come up at all. My wife and I were out. We pull in the driveway, and there’s her car. Absolute surprise.” In 2024, would like to see: “There’s still some wars going on. Why? We’re too advanced for that. I’d like to see them all end. That’s my wish.”

Author

  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

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