The Andros F6A robot, recently acquired by the Washington State Patrol Interagency Bomb Squad, Region 1, removes a backpack from the trunk of a WSP patrol car as part of a demonstration by the bomb squad on Tuesday. - Photo by Jesse Beals
The Andros F6A robot, recently acquired by the Washington State Patrol Interagency Bomb Squad, Region 1, removes a backpack from the trunk of a WSP patrol car as part of a demonstration by the bomb squad on Tuesday.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals


Young Jake didn’t know what to think.

After 10 years in the same house, with the same neighbours, the same friends, the same teachers and the same school, his dad and mom were telling him it was time to move.

Away from the ideal little town of Nelson and to a new place called Kamloops.

“Kamloops,” Jake muttered to himself as he stretched out on his bed, tossing his favourite baseball — the one autographed by Jason Bay, the British Columbia star who plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Even the name sounds funny!”

Just then Jake’s dad rapped on the door and walked into the bedroom.

“How are ya doing, little buddy?” his dad asked as he sat next to Jake on his messy bed, with baseball cards and Archie comic books covering his Spider Man bedspread.

Jake didn’t say anything. He just kept tossing his prized baseball into the air, silently angry at his dad for taking a new job in that place called Kamloops.

“Look, son, I know you love it here in Nelson. And your mom loves it here, too.

“Heck, I love it in Nelson, too, sport, but this job in Kamloops is really good and we will much better off there.”

Jake still didn’t say anything. He only stared at the ball as it went up and came down. Up. Down. Up. Down.

“Well, buddy,” Jake’s dad said as he stood up, patting his son on the arm, “it’s going to be OK. You’ll see. We have a nice new house and there’s a ski hill nearby.”

Jake’s dad left the bedroom and Jake stopped tossing his ball in the air.

Sighing loudly, Jake slowly left his bed and stood up, looking around his bedroom, the only room he had known in his entire life of 10 years.

Just then, Jake noticed something — someone — on the lawn below his bedroom window.

He walked to the window and looked down. It was his best friend, Wally, and he was waving wildly up at Jake’s window.

Jake opened his window.

“What is it?” he asked Wally.

“Oh, man,” Wally said. “Come on down! Hurry up! You’re not gonna believe it!”

Jake was so excited that he almost forgot that he would be moving to that place called Kamloops in one week.

He dropped his baseball, grabbed his Pirates cap and raced down the stairs.


by Sierra Gladu, Grade 6, OLPH

Jake was almost at the door when his dad appeared at the bottom of the stairs.

“Hey sport, where ya going?”

“Just going to play with Wally, dad. Don’t worry, I’ll be home before supper.”

“OK, have fun.”

Jake burst out the door and ran to meet his best friend.

“Wally! Wally! What’s the great news?” Jake asked.

“You are not going to believe it!” Wally said. “You know Jason Bay, the guy who signed your baseball?’’

“Ya, what about him?” Jake asked.’

“Well,” Wally replied, “him and the rest of the Pirates are at the mall signing autographs!”

“Awesome,” Jake said.

“Let’s go!”

Wally and Jake ran to the Nelson mall as fast as they could.

On the way there, Jake said to Wally: “I can’t wait! Maybe they will sign my poster!”

Just then, they burst through the mall doors and got in the line to meet their major league heroes.

“Oh! I have to get my poster out,” said Wally.

“Ya,” added Jake, “I have to get mine out too . . .

“Wait! Where is it? Where is my poster?”

Jake checked his pockets and looked around the ground.

No Pirates poster anywhere.

“Oh man! I forgot it at home!” said Jake.

“Well,” said Wally, “you can’t go home and get because they are leaving in 10 minutes!”

“Oh man, what am I going to do?” Jake said.

“What am I going to do?”


by Sylvie Lloyd, Grade 4, R.L. Clemetson elementary

“There’s no use,” said Jake, “the Pirates are leaving in 10 minutes and there’s no time to go home and get our posters. I guess we’ll just have to go home.”

Jake and Wally were just leaving the mall when a sign caught Jake by the corner of his eye. Jake stopped and turned slightly to his left. Jake read the sign carefully and his heart was beating faster and faster.

“What’s the matter Jake? You seem a little weird.” said Wally

“Wally, read this sign.” said Jake, his heart still pumping as fast as a rocket.

“Pittsburgh Pirates coming to Kamloops in two weeks. Their appearance will be at Aberdeen Mall,” murmured Wally as he read the sign.

“Why are you getting so worked up about it? You don’t even live in Kamloops,” said Wally.

Jake gasped: “Oh Wally, I can’t believe I didn’t tell you, but . . . I’m moving to Kamloops in one week.”

“Oh,” said Wally, “well, you can get your poster signed after all.”

Wally couldn’t believe that the two boys who had known each other their whole lives would soon be apart.


by Amy Robinson, Grade 7, Pacific Way elementary

“Let’s go home,” Wally sighed.

Jake and Wally started walking home.

“I can’t believe I didn’t tell you,” Jake said, “considering that you’re my best friend!”

“Will we ever see each other again?” Wally asked.

“Maybe someday,” Jake replied.

Suddenly, it hit him — he would never see Wally again.

“Here we are,” Wally said, disrupting Jake’s thought.

Jake looked up to see his house.

“Oh! Bye. I guess that I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Ya,” Wally replied. Bye.”

Jake stepped inside and turned around to watch his friend leave. He couldn’t help but notice a slight smile growing on his friend’s face.

“Oh, great!” Jake whispered to himself, “now my best friend is glad that I’m moving to Kamloops.”

Jake went inside his house. “What’s for supper, mom?”

“Chicken!” she replied. “Supper, Bob!”

“Coming, Deb,” said Jake’s dad as he arrived at the door.

“How was it?” Jake’s mom asked once supper was finished.

“Great,” Jake and his dad answered at the same time.

“You should go to bed,” Jake’s mom told him. “It’s past eight o’clock.”

“OK,” Jake said. “Good night.”

Jake had just gotten comfortable when he heard knocking on his bedroom window. He opened it and saw Wally outside.

“Come out,” Wally hissed. Jake crept down to the door and went outside.

“What, Wally?

“Come on, get some clothes. Time to go.”

“Where are we going?” Jake asked.


by Janae Pham, Grade 8, Kamloops Christian

“Just get dressed and follow me,” said Wally. “C’mon, hurry!”

Soon after, Jake was hurrying behind Wally around the side of the house.

Wally’s dad was waiting in his car on the street, beckoning for them to hurry.

Jake grabbed Wally’s arm and hissed, “OK, just what are you up to? My parents don’t know I’m gone. It’s past my bedtime, and —"

“Just listen!" Wally said. "My dad is going to Kamloops overnight for some business stuff. He’s letting me come with him and I told him you were allowed to come, too. Now we can get those Pirates' autographs we wanted!”

Wally pulled on Jake's arm: “C’mon, my dad’s waiting!”

“You don’t think my parents will realize I’m gone?” Jake asked.

“You can call them when we get there. It’s the weekend. What harm could it do?

"Besides,” Wally’s face became sad. “It might be the last thing we do together before you move. Let’s make it fun, OK?”

Jake hesitated.

“Well, OK, but you’re taking the blame if I get in trouble for this!”

The boys ran to the car and leapt in.

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