The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Profiles

After suffering a broken neck as a professional wrestler, Titan battles back from his run as Razor Ramon

Razor-RamonthumbEvery little boy grows up wanting pretty much the same thing — to be a superhero. Once a young boy himself, Rick Bognar knew that in order to become a superhero, he would need superhuman strength. So he did what any eight year old would do... He started lifting weights.

While supportive of their son's early interest in fitness, Bognar said his parents bit back bemusement when he moved from plastic, sand-filled weights, to begging for an incline bench so he "could work his upper pecs."

"I've always been very decisive ever since I was a kid. Stubborn sometimes too I guess," Bognar said laughing. "I was really into muscle and fitness even as a little kid. I wanted to look like the guys in the bodybuilding magazines."

Associated Collegiate Press counts Calgary Journal feature among best

PamRocker thumbnailA Calgary Journal story, The Faith of Pam Rocker, received an honourable mention in a North American journalism contest. The Associated Collegiate Press announced that Mount Royal University journalism students Danielle Semrau and Hannah Kost's multimedia project received recognition in the Multimedia Feature of the Year category. The story was originally published in April 2013 on the Calgary Journal's website. 

Rocker, a self-described activist, struggled to reconcile her faith with her sexuality until finding acceptance at Hillhurst United Church – an affirming ministry that actively supports the LGBTQ community. Rocker says that the story's success is probably due to the genuine interest that Semrau and Kost showed in learning more about her journey.

Deviant facial ink still taboo to some

tattoothumbnail
When Countess Coitus Carcass was a young girl living near Carseland, Alta., she had reoccurring nightmares about sharp, menacing needles stabbing her face.

As a child, the only tattoos she had ever seen were her grandfather's aging war tattoos, which were sloppily done and faded beyond recognition. She says the idea of getting a tattoo never crossed her mind. At least, not until she was 14 years old.

"I almost wonder if (the dreams) were a premonition about my face tattoo," says Carcass, now 34.

"I always drew on my legs and I was kind of impulsive," Carcass says. "It definitely wasn't something I put a lot of thought in to. I was willing to be talked into it."

Death becomes hobby after life experiences

cristycrossFraser grew up admiring the beauty of cemeteries and gravestones. Cemeteries are where she bonded with her mother as a young child and now this is where she bonds with her son.

Photo by Lisa Taylor
Each year, Calgarians pursue careers in the funeral business. Some are attracted by the unusual nature of the industry, while others are drawn to it because they want to help people going through pain and loss. For 39-year-old Calgarian Cristy Fraser, her decision to pursue funeral directing has been on her radar since she was a young girl.

Growing up in Calgary, Fraser says death and the "dark side" always intrigued her. Her mother taught her not to be afraid of death and it's a normal part of life. In fact, she and her mother used to visit cemeteries often as a way to spend time with each other in peaceful places.

Fraser says being a funeral director is a "calling" and she always knew she would end up working in a funeral home.

"Some little girls grow up with the intentions of getting married, playing bride, etcetera," Fraser says. "I was never that girl."