Just about the time I have convinced myself reporting the “good news” from our cluster of small towns…Geneva, Ellendale, New Richland, Hartland and Hope, may no longer be a good idea, I get a letter from Steve Pence who is currently living in Florida.
Steve, who grew up in the Geneva area, recently saw a story about a lady who was born in Dilworth, Minn., in 1915 who is still reporting the news at the age of 102.
Do you suppose he is trying to tell me something or just dropping me a hint?
The story that had been picked up by the “news service” told that despite some reporters who are often cussed or discussed about doing the job that they are doing, this 102-year-old lady from Kansas is still going about the business of gathering the local news.
Bonnie Brown, whom many may think is the oldest newspaper columnist, still reports the news the old-fashioned way, using pen and paper. She doesn’t use Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter. In fact she doesn’t even have a computer.
She began writing for the Protection Press in 2009 after another columnist moved away as she felt it was important to share the “down-to-earth hometown talk.” The story goes on to say that one person shared her column is like a daily diary of what had been happening around town, the kind of history that isn’t preserved anywhere else.
The story went on to share that her column style was about reporting who went to visit whom, as well as what so and so is doing, much like I first started out doing for the Star Eagle. Bonnie said she also looks for things that she feels people will be interested in reading about, which I guess is what I like to do this as well, and hope that I am doing a pretty fair job of sharing our local news with our readers.
My husband tells me my job isn’t a paying proposition and I am sure many of our readers may think this story isn’t all that interesting, but did you see a copy of the Albert Lea Tribune recently that was printed with a front page void of all news? All it said was, “What would we do without a newspaper?”
I guess I had better get back to “reporting the news” that I learned about from Steve. The story Steve shared with me said that Bonnie’s mother died when she was only 3 years old, and her sister even younger. The dad remarried, but for some reason that situation didn’t work out well so he decided to leave his girls with family, but didn’t think that he needed to help pay the bills for their upbringing. Eventually Bonnie was sent to live with a cousin in Oklahoma and helped “earn her keep” so to speak, helping out on the farm. She took care of the horses and chickens and helped milk the cows.
She later met a man and got married during the height of the Depression and went on to work hard as a waitress, at Ruby’s Café, Kathy’s Café, Sam’s Café and Don’s Place and got to know a lot of people, and heard a lot of news.
Bonnie continues to work hard at the age of 102, and is a fabulous cook. She cans jams and jellies, bakes pies and makes some very tasty meals for her family and friends.
This 4-foot, 5-inch lady, who many report couldn’t be seen as she drove her car down the road, finally gave up driving when she turned 98 years of age.
The editor of the Protection Press reported that as each week’s four pages of handwritten columns for “Bonnie’s Blog” are handed in, very few changes ever have had to be made. The editor went on to say, “People get a kick out of reading a column of what this 102-year-old does. She is busier than I am.”
In the eight years that she has been writing her column Bonnie has only missed one deadline, and that was due to an illness.
The story went on to say that Bonnie is up early in the morning, 4 a.m. in fact, and makes herself some breakfast, showers, gets dressed and is ready for each new day. On Mondays and Fridays she plays dominoes with friends and on the other days of the week she enjoys Rummikub and Bingo, which all help get her out in the community to learn about all the different things that are happening in the area that need to be shared.
I guess in that regard one could say that Bonnie and I have a lot in common. I hope that people will continue to let me know of things that are coming up in our communities, as well as share their stories. We all like to read a good story.
— — —
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented that they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us.
Also, if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.
— — —
Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, September 14th: Rick Wangsness, Reece Breidenbach, Issac Wacek, Chris Hanson, Linda Pederson, Jill Peterson, Jack Jensen, Caleb Lunning, Ethan Lunning, Johnny White, Rick & Charlotte Miller
• Friday, September 15th: Korbin Wayne, Aiden McClasky, Daniel Hemingway, Ryan Johnson, Nancy Nelson, Tyrel Peterson, Wendy Schultz, Eric Nelson, Jarred Hanson, Dorothy Reichl, Roger & Patty Langlie
• Saturday, September 16th: Evon Damon Lucas, David L. Christenson, Carmon Fetterly, Emily Laudon, Howard & Carrie Peterson, Shane & Kelly Christensen
• Sunday, September 17th: Duane Edwardson, Karen Hemingway Core, Al Routh, Kara Ladlie, Allen Brandt, Sue Tasker, Brock David Routh, Terry & Marlys Van Kampen,
• Monday, September 18th: Torsten Wayne, Laura Groth, Carla Scripture, Kevin Christenson, Ron Farr, Chris Larson, Becky Axmann, Laura Davis, Julia Spande, Randy & Cindy Horan, Andrea & Nick Miller, Todd & Mary Wayne, David & Malinda Hanson, Jill & Brian Wolff, Nicholas & Katie Wayne
• Tuesday, September 19th: Vicki Hill Kress, Carol Anderson, David Deml, Ben Cerney, Dan Underland, Kristine Sorenson, Bill Hatch, Jennifer Johnson, Gerald Trandem, Cindy Morris Erickson, Scott & Tracy Tracy, Kelly & David Wacek, Jill & Dustin Johammsem
• Wednessday, September 20th: Trinity Starr Wocelka, Jade Hill, Tricia Wayne, Sarah Mills, Cheryl Lonning, Bruce Born, Jennifer Thorn, Jason & Michelle Gordon
• Thursday, September 21st: Addie Haugen, Tiffany Shelton, Tim Sorenson, Dan Richards, Ann Hamilton, Margaret Deml, Thomas O'Conner, Richard Axmann, Ashley & Anthony Cookas, 2014; Sherri & Chad Fritz, Jodi & Brandon Wayne, Marty & Karen Johnson
• Friday, September 22nd: Noah Rasmussen, Lee Nelson, Gary Jenkins, Kaleb Christensen, Diane Stollard, Kathy Underland, Doris DeNeui, Mark & Rachel Lee
May your day be filled with everything you enjoy most!
There are times I made mistakes regarding birthdays and anniversaries because of information I don’t know. Please look at it as a reminder that though they may no longer be with us it is nice to remember they once were and celebrate their birthdays and anniversaries.