June 20, 2021

Paulsen: As Bob Hope says, ‘Thanks for the memories’

It’s been 21 great years here in Creston. Tomorrow is my last day, then retirement!

I’ve had a lot of fun and exciting times along the way. I have spent 21 of my 42-year career here in Southern Iowa. The last couple of years my job entailed not only working with the Creston, Osceola, Greenfield and Fontanelle papers but also Newton, Prairie City and Monroe in central Iowa. So I’ve put in a few miles along the way and meet all kinds of great people.

Newspapers like almost every other kind of business, it has been challenging the last few years and especially the last year with the advent of the pandemic.

My most challenging experience was back in April 2012 when the tornado came a calling! It didn’t hit the paper office but took down our condo on the north side of town. Running the papers and trying to get my residence rebuilt was a pretty stressful time. The best thing I can say is that people were great about helping out. We had about 25 people helping us get all our “stuff” packed and moved into several storage units in less than a day. Everyone from the local insurance agent to the mailman were super about helping out. Our landlord even installed a new air conditioner in the rental house we were in for eight months while we were rebuilding. That’s the good old Iowa spirit in action!

I can’t say enough about all the great newspaper readers/subscribers and business partners we’ve had over the years. Plus we print another dozen weekly papers from around the area with some super owners of these papers from around the area. These groups have made all our area papers and shoppers possible. I’ve enjoyed talking to people whether it was in the grocery store, lake or community event.

One of the best things about working at the newspaper was all the wonderful employees we have had over the last 21 years. We are fortunate to have many long-time employees. This is due in part to our employees working together no matter what needed to be done. The paper crew has always had a good spirit of helping each other when things happen. I don’t believe this attitude is found everywhere you go. So I very much have appreciated their efforts over the years. Thank you to each and every one of present and former employees. As many businesses are finding out, you can’t do it without good employees!

Our parent company Shaw Media has been a super company to work for. They have allowed us the autonomy to do the things we want/need to do in running the newspapers and shoppers in a rural area. Plus, how many towns our size have a daily paper in today’s world? Not many!

I had the advantage to travel around the area to everything from county fairs to golf outings. My wife Georgia and I plan on staying in Creston and travel when we can. She has put up with many of my long days over the years. She is continuing to work part time at SWCC before retiring somewhere down the line.

I plan to still be involved in many community activities such as Rotary, Union County Development, hospital foundation and the Business Leadership Network through the University of Iowa. You’ll still see me helping with the Christmas Basket committee, the parks department and donating blood to name a few.

Thank you to all the community’s that have accepted me in over the years. Central Iowa has been very good to me and I appreciate it. See you around!

Thought for the rest of the retirement- Happiness doesn’t depend on how much you have to enjoy...But how much you enjoy what you have!! ZIGGY