(With three ‘E’s’)
I first met Ephegenia a few months ago when I was contemplating how to introduce various topics on my ‘Mortal Coils’ page.
Ephegenia is the kind of woman you hope and dread to meet. For the very simple reason that your life will never be the same if you let them get their foot in the door.
Here’s a bit of background I managed to dig up on Ephegenia before I continue the story of how we met.
Ephegenia Phibbs was a celebrity reporter in her tiny village of Railway Stump, pop. 302 (not a very imaginative name in Ephegenia’s opinion, but the most signatures she ever got on her petition to have it changed to Phibbs Reach was four) about halfway between Nelson and Willow Point in the Kootenays. Which for all you folks who live outside Western Canada, is about 650 km east of Vancouver and about 60 km north of the Washington/Montana/Canada border as the snowgoose flies
She wrote the ‘who’s who’ column in their weekly newspaper and the kindest thing that I ever heard said about her journalistic skills was that she has a good heart. Now you’d think there wouldn’t be much of a call for a celebrity reporter but Ephegenia seemed to think so, and she convinced her boss, who coincidentally was her great-uncle’s second cousin, there was a need and that she was the only reporter within a hundred kilometres who had the skills and tact required for such a delicate undertaking.
Ephegenia believed in treating all with the greatest of respect, no matter how recently they’d moved into the region. She even prided herself on including Maysie Dillinger, whose family had arrived in the area long after the railroad went through, among her dearest friends.
Ephegenia spent some nine years reporting on such great stories like the time Wendy Davis posed near naked for a billboard that was to be prominently placed right at the junction of the Crowsnest Highway and Railway Avenue in Salmo. But because of some unnamed indiscretion between Wendy and the advertiser’s daughter, (Ephegenia only had gossip, hints, hearsay and supposition to go on) the billboard never went up. It qualified as ‘celebrity news’ in Ephegenia’s eyes because Wendy was, and still is I suppose, the last scion of the first family of Railway Stump.
Soon after the ‘Wendy Incident’ Ephegenia or Effie, as she is universally known but never called to her face, decided that her true vocation lay in investigative journalism.
A mutual friend introduced me to Ephegenia, and in a moment of weakness I invited her to submit an article on the world of Argol from an outsider’s perspective.
I think it was my innocent use of the word ‘outsider’ that got her hackles up, because she glared witheringly at me over the top of her pince-nez. I believe she wears the glasses as an affectation, her eyesight is sharper than shards of glass.
“A reporter of my experience.” She articulated with hauteur Maggie Smith would’ve been proud of. “Is never an outsider.”
And so, I await her first article, due on Friday, with some trepidation.
“We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears” – Author unknown