I hate Daylight Saving Time.

Oops, let me rephrase that. Daylight Saving Time is great. Getting that extra hour of sunlight in the evening does marvels for the soul gripped with the last vestiges of the winter blahs–even if this winter wasn’t particularly long, or cold, or plagued by repeated snow shovelling.
What I detest is having to lose that hour’s sleep that heralds the arrival of Daylight Saving Time each year.
Now before you think I’m a wimp for being unable to get out of bed for church on a Sunday morning due to an hour of missed shut-eye, let me explain. You see, the annual Ontario Community Newspapers Association convention always falls on the first weekend of April, which, of course, coincides with “spring ahead.”
And believe me, there’s nothing more depressing than getting tossed out of the hotel bar at 1:30 a.m. after a long night of fellowship and celebration, going up to your hotel room, and suddenly realizing that it’s, in effect, 2:30 a.m.
While that’s not a big problem for those delegates who face an hour’s drive home to Barrie in the morning, or perhaps a four-hour one to the Ottawa Valley, it certainly is when your flight to Thunder Bay leaves Pearson International at 8:35 a.m.
Which means you have to catch the airport shuttle bus at 7:15 a.m. at the latest, which means getting up at 6 a.m. to get ready, which means, even if you’ve managed to pack your suitcase in, say, a minute 30, having less than three hours of sleep by the time you get to bed.
Tired, hangover, and a 20-seater from Thunder Bay to Fort Frances is not a good combination.
This year was particularly hard to keep the celebrating in check because the Times won three advertising awards during the Saturday evening banquet, earning second-place honours in “Original Advertising Idea” (the auditorium and Ice for Kids fundraising efforts), “Community Service” (The Great Chili Cook-off and Cake Roulette promotion), and “Original Artwork” (the Sunset Country Ford ad in last year’s bass special edition).
These were “Premier” awards, meaning the Times was up against every weekly newspaper in Ontario regardless of circulation size.
The Times also finished fifth overall in the “General Excellence” competition for 1997 out of 28 papers in our circulation class (3,500-6,499), missing third place by just six points.
On the bright side, we earned the top score for “Sports” in our class.
But the best news is that the top five papers advance to the national newspaper awards competition in July (being held in Winnipeg this year). And given only 32 points separated the five of us, anything is possible at the level.
Needless to say, we had good reason to party. Which was why losing that hour was so cruel.
But, returning with such accolades certainly helped get us through the long trip home Sunday morning. A two-hour nap, and a 10-hour sleep that night, didn’t hurt, either.
Besides, there’s plenty of time to rest up before next year’s convention.

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