From the miscellaneous drawer

by Anne Swenson, Publisher

I’m lucky. I work at a job that I love with some of the nicest, brightest people I know. <BR><BR>It’s a pleasure to come to work and do work which is meaningful to me and to the community of readers and advertisers.<BR><BR>If there were more time in my week and more energy in my 68 year old body, I’d love to do more. Write more. Take more photos. Interview more people. Delve into more issues. <BR><BR>I’m lucky because I found the joy of newspaper work before my working life was over. It seems it was just beginning when I started at the Echo not quite 30 years ago.<BR><BR>The obituaries which are sent in the newsletter from our newspaper association indicate that newspaper people lead long lives. Most of them are writing almost to the end of their life at age 80 or 90. How lucky they are.<BR><BR>Some of the international journalists who were in Ely last summer have not fared as luckily.<BR><BR>Africa, the continent where it is said that one-fifth of its people live in nations shaken by recent wars, is home to two of the recent Ely guests. At the moment, neither are within reach by phone or internet for their governments have chased them into hiding for their reporting.<BR><BR>Bertrand Tchoumi of Cameroon notified me in February that his wife had a baby boy. The Ely package for the infant may have fallen into the hands of government officials instead of the mother. A month after the package was sent Bertrand was trying to figure out how he could get someone else to retrieve it for him.<BR><BR>Another journalist, Nevin Sungur of Turkey, had her television reporting job take her back to Iraq. She wrote to her Ely host family, Judy and John Viken, in March, “I will be spending some time in the northern part and then move down to Baghdad. I am quite excited but my mother is really worried. It is very difficult to convince her about my trips most of the time but I do understand her worries, of course.”<BR><BR>So as we worked long hours this week to produce this special annual progress edition, the thought of these friends laboring under far different circumstances prodded me. <BR><BR>As American journalists at a small weekly paper we’re fine. Even in our disagreements with politicians we’re able to maintain cordiality on a personal level apart from any issues. We’re all human with families to think about, homes to care for.<BR><BR>And we’re glad to be bringing to you, the reader, a wrap-up of the business events of the last year even as more are happening or in the works as you read this.<BR><BR>We will have missed some and will welcome phone calls telling us about what is yet to come. Our aim was to put readers in the know on what has been happening to prepare for the summer tourist season.<BR><BR>