Jean Matua “From the Heart”
Thanksgiving week marks two very important anniversaries for me. I joined the Tri-County News 20 years ago this week, jumping right in and – from what was written by the publisher then – changing things up quite a bit. It would be a year before I purchased the newspaper and moved it to its current location, so I’ve been the owner/publisher/editor (among other jobs here) for nearly 19 years.
So much has happened in these past 20 years, both with the newspaper and in the community. Back then, the newspaper was put together on paste-up “boards,” sheets of cardboard just larger than two full newspaper pages. Stories were typed up (“set”), printed, cut out, and the back covered with a sticky wax before sticking it onto a page. The same for ads, photos, headlines, and photo captions. The first thing I did was to lay out the stories with photos and captions in blocks, making layout both easier and more precise.
There have been four publishers in the nearly 73-year history of the Tri-County News: founder Phyllis Greely Hoeft for about 47 years, Steve Prinsen for about four years, Steve Swenson for about one; and me for 20.
The second big thing I accomplished here was printing the first full-color photo. It was a tropical beach photo, as I recall, and very dark. I was able to “adjust” it somewhat digitally, to bring out layers of color invisible on the original photo.
After those giant leaps, the rest was a matter of staying ahead of technology in order to bring you the best weekly newspaper possible. It’s been a lot of work, with almost weekly all-nighters, but it’s certainly been a work of love.
The advice is to find work that you love and it won’t seem like work, and I’d have to agree.
The other momentous anniversary this week is the arrival of our son. We flew home with him on Thanksgiving Day; I still remember hoping that British Airways would serve us turkey dinner on the plane, but that was not to be. George was a little more than 2 at the time; he’s now 19.
Many of you reading this have played some crucial part in his life up to this point: help and support in putting together the voluminous documents needed for adoption and immigration; moral support during the nearly two-year wait until all was ready; assistance in our travel, and during our six weeks overseas; daycare where he learned English and more, and made life-long friends; and all the friends and educators during his 13 years in school. A profound “thank you” to each and every one of you for the role(s) you played in getting us to this point!