Name: Tyler Thomlinson
Family: Married to Cindy, children Peyton (almost 8) and Will (6)
Profession: Pharmacist and co-owner of Saleski Pharmacy
Years in Grenfell: 33
What scar do you have that tells the best story?
When I was 9 years old, well, actually three days before my 9th birthday, I broke the crown of my femur, snow skiing. I snapped it. We were at the Ochap ski hill. We went every weekend. We had season passes and went lots with the whole family. They were building a half pipe and I went down it, accidentally....well, sort of accidentally. I thought I was pretty good, so I went down this thing, kind of half on purpose, half not. It was full of ice, and only half done. You weren't supposed to be on it. I went off it, and I went flying and couldn't stop, cause it was just sheer ice. I went about 20 feet in the air and landed on my butt and snapped my leg in half. It was horrible. My dad was with me and he lost his marbles. My mom and my brother were all the way on the other side of the hill, and they actually heard me scream. They didn't know it was me at the time. I ended up spending two weeks in the hospital, having surgery, pins, body cast. Once I got out of the body cast, they put me into a hinge cast. I got yelled at a lot from my mom and the surgeon, because I snapped it three times (the hinge). I kept on having to go back in to the clinic to get it fixed.The third time was when I was sliding into home plate at recess, playing baseball. Mom wasn't impressed. I got into a lot of trouble for that. Anyways, so almost exactly a calendar year later, they had to open me up again, to take the pins out. I still have the massive pins that they put in there. I have a one foot long by one inch wide scar all down my leg.
Do you remember the first movie you ever saw in a theatre?
I definitely don't remember the first movie I saw in a theatre, but this is a good story from my university days. I didn't go to the theatre much, but every now and then we went. So Reid Piller came up and we decided to go to a movie. Texas Chainsaw Massacre had just came out, and it was the newer one, with all the trendy actors. At the time I was living with Bryce Prima and Mike Cole. So us, and Reid, Justin Ziola, I think Chelsey Neuls was there - a whole group of us from back home were there. It was just terrifying. I'm not good with scary movies. Guys like Justin and Bryce were laughing through the whole thing, because they like scary movies. But Reid and I held hands the whole time. We were sitting side by side, and I was a bit terrified. I'm a bit of a wuss. I grabbed his leg at one point, and he grabs my hand and throws it off of him, trying to be tough. Then about a minute later he grabs my hand and pulls it back and we actually held hands for the last half of the movie. Then we got out of there and we were just like, that was horrifying, and everyone else was laughing because they all thought it was the cheesiest thing. Reid and I were just sprinting, literally ran across the street to the car, because it was dark. We're sort of wusses I guess. Not very manly. That's probably, honestly, the last scary thing I've watched.
Who do you look up to?
There's two people I look up to. The first one is my dad honestly. My dad is the best guy I know. He'll do anything for anybody. He works hard. He's the guy I've always aspired to be like. He's definitely one. I can't do things on my own usually, so he's the one I call on to fix things for me. It sounds weird, but honestly, the other one is probably my son Will. He's only 6, but he's a pretty awesome little dude. He's the most caring and happy-go-lucky kid. You ask him to do something and just wants to do it. Like just the other day we were going to the rink to paint the lines and he's like "Where are you going dad? Can I come?" I said no, you're too little. And he's says, No! I want to come. So he did, and he held the hose and just wanted to be there helping. Seems a little weird to look up to a six year old but he's awesome.
Talk about a friend that you admire.
I'll try not to get emotional about this one. So, I consider this guy a friend now. I didn't know him growing up. He's somebody that I kind of admired my whole life. I love sports and I love baseball. I'd go watch as a kid. I'll never forget when I first met him. I was at the ball diamond, watching a pratice. I wasn't playing for the Gems at that point. I was 15, and they were all practicing and having fun and this guy - I'd watched him for years and years and years, he called me out, and I finally got to go out on the field and play catch with him. And that was Troy Lowenberg. I very much admire him.
What talent do you wish you had, that you don't?
That's easy. I wish I could fix things. I suck at anything with my hands. When I first moved back home, I bought a washer and dryer. The dryer fell apart, so I thought I'd take a look at it. I took the back off - that took me about 25 minutes to get it off. Then I opened it up, and look at it and went... ???? And then I called my dad and he came and fixed it. I literally can't do anything. I'll call my dad for everything. He'll come over and it's done. It would be much more convenient for everyone in my family if I could do stuff and didn't have to get dad to do everything.
What do you like about small town living?
I love the people and the convenience honestly. I woke up this morning, took my kids to school, which took 8 seconds. We're doing this interview, so I walked here. I'll probably walk to the coop when we're done, buy a bag of pellets for a smoker, that I was able to buy in town at the coop. On my way home I'll stop at the drug store to see how things are going. I'll probably talk to four or five people on the way there. Probably about when the Spitfires are firing up and what the team is going to look like this year. Or talk about the Gems championship that we just won. And I'll walk home and be home by lunch. So ya... that's probably what I like the most. The other thing is, if the Spits are playing on saturday night and I work Monday, I know, guaranteed, that there will be at least four people in at the pharmacy just to talk about the hockey game. Or if there's a ball game, they'll be in to talk about that... "oh geez. This guy really had a bad game", or "man, did you see that goal?" I just love stuff like that. Maybe you'd get that stuff in the city, but I doubt it. I'll be in the back of the office pecking away at the computer, and I'll see someone come in, so I know I have to clear things up quick, because I know I'm going to take ten minutes to talk hockey or ball or whatever with that person. That's definitely a cool thing about living in a small town.
Do you collect anything?
Not intentionally. I have a very large collection of baseball bats. Ones I use myself. In the off season, in the winter time, I just sit back and play at my computer and wish it was springtime so I can play ball again. So I inevitably end up buying a bat or this or that. So I have this massive collection of ball stuff. I have Jose Canseco's bat. I have different memorabilia - a Joe Carter signed baseball. That's pretty neat. But I don't specifically go out to collect that stuff. In 2012, four of us from town went to Toronto and watched a series there. That was unreal. Every now and then, whenever I'm down in the states playing ball, we'll look up if there's a game in the area. We've lucked out a few times. Went to a Cub's game at Wrigley Field. It's over 100 years old. It was amazing.
When you hear the word "Saskatchewan", what does it make you think?
Bunnyhug. Honestly. That's because of all of the guys that I play ball with, none of them know that word. (During the summer, Tyler plays fastball on a team based out of Kansas City. There are a few players from Canada, many from all over the States, and even four guys from Venezuela. He spends the weekends in July and August going to tournaments around the U.S.) The only other Saskatchewan guy is Tony Sparvier from Whitewood. No one else knows what a bunnyhug is. We were sitting there one day at a tournament, and it was about 36 degrees. I made a joke about not needing my bunnyhug. "I don't know why I even brought my bunnyhug to this game" And this guy gave me the weirdest, dirtiest look. Everyone just shut up and got really quiet. And Tony says "they don't know what a bunnyhug is". So I had to explain what it was and it turned into the running joke for the rest of the weekend. At a tournament later on in the summer, they were making fun of me again about it, saying stupid Canadians with their funny words, and the one guy on the team from Nova Scotia, he's like "Hey! Don't say it's all Canadians. I didn't even know what a bunnyhug was! Don't lump me in with those guys!"
Which do you prefer, beach holiday or exploring holiday?
I like both, but it depends on time of life I think. Right now, if I were to go tomorrow, 100% beach holiday. Something I've always wanted to do is go on an African safari. See all the cool, wild animals in nature. I know that's nothing that's reasonable now. And never has been up to this point in my life. But once the kids get older, into their teenage years, if they're into stuff like that, I think it would be the coolest thing in the world to do. But right now, you know.. you get running around, working, doing this and that, playing ball, going to the rink, gymnastics, things kind of get really crazy. We've gone down south a few times, and when you get there you just sigh and take a deep breath and relax. It's so nice to just chill and do absolutely nothing. So at this point in my life, beach holiday. Eventually, exploring holiday would be pretty cool.
Do you speak a second language?
No, but I'm trying. I was trying to learn french for a couple years, just on those little apps - Duolingo. I always thought it would be cool to be able to speak a second language. I think I was in grade 5 when french was taken out of the curriculum. Mrs. Neuls taught it (Heather). It takes a lot of time though. I did it for about two years, trying to learn french on my own. But if you skip for a week or so, or even a couple days, you lose so much. That, and not having anyone to speak the language with. I've also tried to learn the odd word in spanish a bit, because we go down to Mexico for holidays. And on the ball team I play on, there are spanish speakers from Venezuela. But they talk so fast, I'd never catch it if they talked to me. And they'd just laugh at me if I tried to speak Spanish with them. So short answer, no I don't, but I'm kind of trying to. If you don't have time to actually sit down and study it and treat it like an actual course, you're just spinning your tires, but it's still kind of fun to do.