Anne…Here Goes Life…

by Pam Roberts

Anne Swenson took a chance on hiring me at the Ely Echo back in 1978. I told her I would even take out the garbage... and she would recall when she took a photo of my nephew Brent Roberts and I picking up trash along the roadside earlier that year.
That was my real foot in the door. Heavenly Father has used many such circumstances to bring us together working 10 plus years on, 10 plus years off, and now 20 plus years on... and each week I wondered how long this would last as she downloaded my photos we’d have a little visit.
Then the last couple years I visited Anne at home. Always trying to get back there... And the last couple visits we talked of eternity and she said would like to be there... I shared that the only way for eternal life is through Jesus/Yeshua... He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins ... the wages of sin is death but the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus/Yeshua.... He rose up again to Life and goes to prepare a place for us. Repent and believe, put your trust in Jesus/Yeshua.... This would be her choice... We always hope for more time... and eternity. Time here remains and another day.
This time around, by 2001, I had not worked for Anne/Echo for 10+ years. I was just sitting down in the lounge of the GEL with family members attending niece Julie Roberts wedding reception. Anne was just leaving the lounge having attended someone else’s wedding reception. As she walked by I stood to give her a hug and she said: “I’ve been thinking of you...” (??...)
Turned out Nick and Tom were gone that week and Anne needed to fill the paper with something. Photos! One hour a day every day that week of everyday life in Ely. Would I do it? I know the timing and knew if I did this I would have to start right now to get seven full days in and I did not have a camera. Anne went straight to the Echo office to get a camera while the Grand Ely Lodge fixed a dinner to go box.
That started the next 20+ year phase of employment at Ely Echo with the O’clock Hour and many stories later. Anne also edited all my stories. Big chore. I am on my own for this one....
Anne had such an appreciation for everyday life and history and memories and celebrating the moment.
Once the Echo had an open house celebrating the new ceiling and painted walls in the old building. Didn’t take long before there were stacks of paper all over the place and plenty of smoke in the old days... hustle and bustle of a news room...with changing phases of technology: film, negatives, printing photos and plates, darkroom to digital – computer.
Anne and I ran the printing press ourselves for about six to seven months. We would even do a little square dance jig to the rhythm of the press and would guess how many more sections we’d print off that roll
Then son Nick helped with the printing and after a month or so we were happy to turn over the printing. Son Nick continues to take it from there... (Keep up the good work Nick and all Echo team. I call it the Weekly Miracle because so much information has to come together in one week after another week).
Anne was steady at her desk most of every day after day…or home reading more…stacks of history…year after year. Staring at that computer. Anne dedicated her life to documenting life – history of this part of the world she loved and cared about. She sacrificed much for the opportunity of Ely to have the Ely Echo.
The weekly column I do: The O’clock Hour was Anne’s idea. Every time I visited Anne I thanked her for taking such a chance on me and giving me the opportunity to serve her and Ely in this way. She said she didn’t think hiring me was taking a chance but making a choice.
Anne once said she did not know if I worked seven days a week or played seven days a week. My choice was always to hang in there as long as Anne which kept me going when things got tense once in a while. Anne was a gift to my life and instrumental in the direction it took. It is a constant reminder to commit our ways to the Lord and he will direct our steps. What a place He led me to. I will always be thankful for Anne’s taking a chance on me, and or making the choice... 44 years went by fast. We look forward to eternity.
Love you forever Anne and family.
Pamalot