I was fortunate to have gotten to know Otto Lindstrom pretty well during my years at the Terrace Standard.
My favourite memory of Otto is the time he took me out to his trapline in Remo, site of his family’s former homestead. He’d maintained the trapline for 75 years, taking it over for some pioneer Swede, I think, back in the day, and was still making the rounds.
We both hopped on ATVs (he was 87 at the time) and roared through the damp woods. We were rewarded with the discovery of a soggy, flea-infested marten snared inside one of the connibear traps.
Fortunately (for me) the marten had to be hung up overnight to dry, so the rest of the procedure had to wait for another day.
A veteran of the Second World War and the brutal Italian campaign, Otto was proud to call himself a D-Day Dodger. I am humbled to have learned what he meant by that, and am happy to enlighten anyone who asks.
One of my strongest memories of Otto is the day after my story about his time during the war was published. He came into the office, and we just looked at each other for a few minutes before saying anything. Neither of us was able to articulate what we were thinking.
“I know.” I said finally. “I know.”
The story, you see, had just scratched the surface. But somehow there was nothing more to be said.
He was such a gentle, kind, opinionated, life-affirming soul. His life says so much about the kind of people who make Terrace what is – and the generation that sacrificed so much when their country needed them.
I’m going to miss him.
White Rock, BC