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Betty’s Week

David and I were working a little late last Tuesday night (getting the paper to press), when in came Gail Miller and her son, Dr. G. Orndorff. Gail is owner of the Chocolate Factory and they brought us a delightful  little snack—chocolate covered marshmallows. David chose dark chocolate and I wanted the white. I  like white chocolate, but seldom get to enjoy it. There were three marshmallows on a stick and I enjoyed one a day for three days. Thanks, Gail, and Dr. G. for helping make our long day so delightful. 

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  For everyone who has been interested in my lizard stories (or the lack thereof) I have a good one this week. With the warm days of spring I have caught three or four small pests on my sticky traps. Thought I was doing a good job of keeping them in their place and had gotten very complacent about looking where I was putting  my feet. 

A week ago on Tuesday night I had been busy in the kitchen, juicing a dozen lemons, which takes some time. Didn’t want to stop, because warm lemons are much easier to work with. I finished the last one and was running to the bathroom (well as fast as a sore knee let’s you go), and turning through the arch between the dining and living room I had to put on the brakes fast. There in the  middle of the floor sat a large lizard. Flying insect spray (which I  use to stun them) was in the laundry room and my big books used for bombing these critters were in the den. Didn’t want to take my eyes off him for fear I’d never see it again. Surprisingly it didn’t run, so I also stood still, looking for something in sight to kill it with. Had moved the table from in front of the gas logs in the fall and sure enough there were two large coffee table books lodging on its bottom stretcher. Carefully got them up to the top of the table and choose the larger to toss first. Missed! However it stunned the beast and I knew I had to get very close to have a chance with my final shot. Got him! Not sure it was dead, I jumped on the book with all my 170 pound and jumped up and down. Then I got on my knees on the book to see if I had indeed hit my target—could see the tip of its tail wiggling from underneath the book, so I jumped up and down on my sore knee, along with the good one. 

After this, with one eye on the books, I looked around for something heavy to make sure that lizard stayed under the book. Spotted a box of magazines ready to go to the nursing home (probably weighed about 30 pounds). Could step off the book  holding him down and still keep an eye on it while reaching the magazines and plopped it on.

Still not satisfied with the weight, I found a milk can of Mom’s devotion books I’d brought home to read (also weighing probably another 30 pounds) which went on top of the magazines. Satisfied with my project, I went on to the bathroom, but coming back to the kitchen I checked to see if the tail was still there.  When the brothers come to cut the grass I’ll have them remove the corpse.

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  David was still on delivery duty Wednesday morning. Hopefully I’ll be able to be back at my post this week. 

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  Made it to the nursing home Thursday in Batesville, Mom was doing fine, but was still on antibiotics. If she takes them on an empty stomach it makes her deathly sick. Had a new nurse and sure enough, she came with that pill about four. Told her she was not going to give it until after mom had her supper. She didn’t like that at all and I had to give my pedigree for her to believe that I had the authority to advise her. When Jimmie arrived she says, “Well she probably won’t bring it back.” I didn’t care because if she had given it it would have done no good—would have just come up with her supper and Mom would have had that awful sickness. She didn’t bring it back. Next morning I told the nurse who had been with us for many years what had happened. She took care of it, because the night nurse, again one I didn’t know, stuck her head in and asked, “Has she had her supper?” Told her yes and she gave the med.

  More bad things started early Friday morning. The AC wouldn’t come on, but I had already been taught how to handle it. With good knees this is no problem, but with my bad one it was painful. The reset button is on the floor and you have to get on your knees to re-set it. Got that done. Then I was in the bathroom and realized that the lift seat was completely loose. I worked on it until the CNA came to get Mom into the bathroom. Told her that unless she could fix it, she was not putting Mom on the thing. I’d rather have her wet than falling in the floor and breaking something. She worked on it for several minutes and then went to maintenance. They wrote up a work order, but at the end of the day it had still not been fixed. Did get fixed the next day.  

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   With all the sitting I’m doing while this knee is mending, I’m watching way to much TV.  On back-to- back nights, Bonanza and The Virginian shows were involved with newspapers. The Bonanza Show had Samuels Clements in as the substitute editor, while the regular editor attended a seminar. He printed a story, using info from an informant whose identity he would not disclose (later found dead), which got the paper and himself into a high dollar law suit.  

Ben Cartwright had recommended him for the position at The Territorial News in Virginia City, Nev. and felt responsible for him. After learning of the death of the informant the Cartwrights began an investigation into the story and found it true. My main interest in the show was the scenes of the newspaper office and press room. They looked exactly like the Herald when I arrived except we had a linotype and motorized presses. Typecases, stones, small presses and even the office furniture could have been shot in our office. And when I arrived on the scene I set type out of these cases, using a composing stick exactly like Mr. Clements, and the character playing the part actually knew how to set type. It was fun to watch. They had a Washington Hand Press, which we did not have, but which I have used at the Ag Museum.

  On The Virginian, the paper was owned by a lazy printer, who was way behind in his work. A young female reporter  was played by Samantha, The Good Witch. They also used the name Samantha on The Virginia, with her called Sam—don’t know which show was first. She had been fired from papers in New York, Chicago, and numerous other smaller papers before landing in Medicine Bow, Wyo. She didn’t exactly make up stories, but she did embellish them and really got The Virginian and a good friend in trouble.

The Virginian was shot and the friend, known as the Brazo Kid, was killed. Again the office and press room looked very similar to ours, even though it was different from the one on Bonanza. Again, there was a Washington hand press. This young reporter had been taught the art of letter-press printing by someone who knew this form of printing, because they showed her setting type, making up a form, and running the press. This shop also had a commercial printing shop, which we also had when I arrived. She was fast and efficient and earned a whole $8 a week. To supplement her salary she was a guest writer for a western magazine that covered a large area, which spread the story of the kid’s (who had been thought dead for many years) possible survival. It paid 3 cents a line. Over a 100 years later I started at $10 a week, but I didn’t know how do do anything—I was a fast learner and my pay scale soon increased.

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  Graduation time is fast approaching and we will be printing the graduation section again this year. This feature includes a picture and biography of each senior. I’ll be calling in the near future to see if you want to be included in this special issue. If you are a new business, and I miss you and you want to be included in this section, give me a call at 473-1473.

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