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Who: Jim Clark, 65, retired. Minnie Clark, 58, retired.
Relationship status: Married since 1979.
Location: Teslin, Yukon.
The new guy in town
Jim: We met for the first time 40 years ago. I had moved from Edmonton to Teslin for work and I met Minnie’s older brother Bill, who she was living with at the time.
Minnie: I had just graduated from high school in Whitehorse where my parents lived. I got a job with the forest service in Teslin, which is why I was at my brother’s.
Jim: I walked into the house and there was this young, athletic gal with this great afro.
Minnie: My brother introduced Jim as our new neighbour. Of course, my sister and I had already scoped him out. There are only about 400 people in Teslin, so you know when there’s someone new in town. I thought Jim was nice looking, but I wasn’t really interested in dating.
Love in a canoe
Jim: Before we started dating, we would see each other at work. Minnie was in the office, and I was always going in to make photocopies.
Minnie: He was in all the time. I think he was probably just copying blank pages.
Jim: We had a big burning barrel for all of that scrap paper. I did finally get to spend some time with her when she agreed to come out in a canoe.
Minnie: By that time, I was interested. At the end of the summer, Jim was transferred to Dawson City and I followed him there. My dad sure wasn’t happy. The whole reason I had gone to Teslin was to save up money for university, but plans changed. It was a pretty short courtship. We got married the following February.
A natural romance
Minnie: We’re both retired now, so we’re able to spend even more time outdoors. That’s how we connect. I have recently taken up photography and Jim is my assistant. Even if I’m getting up in the middle of the night to shoot the Northern Lights, he’s there.
Jim: I remember when we were first dating, we went camping on the river behind Minnie’s parents place and she was able to hunt and fish and really take care of everything. I thought, if you’re going to be in the bush with someone, you want to be with her.
Minnie: What impressed me early on was this time when I mentioned I had a letter to mail to my parents and when he went out, he took it to the post office. It was this very small thing that made me think, this is a guy I can depend on. All these years later, I still think of it.