50 years with my Nancy

It’s hard to believe, but we have been living in Hillsboro for the past 40 years. We moved to Hillsboro in March 1977 when Don Wipf offered me a job at the Hillsboro Star-Journal.

I had been the production manager at the Wichita Sun, KAKE-TV’s 100,000-circulation free newspaper.

When the Sun set in February 1977, it was losing about $8,000 per week. I got the call from Don asking me to come to Hillsboro. Since some of the position required that I run a Multilith Offset printing press, I took some vo-tech printing courses at Wichita East prior to moving here.

As they say, the rest is history.

Another big milestone is approaching in my/our lives on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Nancy and I will have been married for 50 years on that day. And it is to the day. The wedding was on Thursday, so we could take a few days away, and then I could be back on Monday to help put out the next newspaper.

She has always said she should have known that something was up with that—and she was right. We have had to plan almost everything around the newspaper deadline from that time to my semi-retirement, er, I mean, transitioning into retirement since April 1, 2014.

Nancy grew up in Hillsboro and I moved to Kansas when I was 9 years old from Mountain Lake, Minn. Even though we went to the same church, and I spent a lot of time on South Main Street at the Koontz’s house, I really did not know who she was.

Then, when I was the president of the youth group at church and she also was an officer, I needed to discuss something with her so we met at her house on a Sunday afternoon. She looked really good to me with her blonde hair and nice red sweater.

The next thing I knew I had asked her to the Polka Party at the high school, where we had pizza, but I honestly don’t remember anything else.

Three years later, on the day of that first date, we became engaged while watching an episode of “Get Smart” on TV.

It is the smartest thing I ever did. Did it always seem like the smartest thing I ever did or she ever did? Not really.

She thought I would grow up, and I didn’t know how much of a mind of her own she possessed.

But here we are, two terrific children and spouses, two terrific grandsons later, staring at five decades. Where did the time go?

We look to our parents as good examples of how to stay together for life.

There is absolutely no chance I would ever change what we have. I really appreciate Nancy and am grateful to have someone who has loved me through many, many obstacles and changes along the way.

We don’t know what lies ahead with any certainty, but I will be spending my time with my high school sweetheart.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@hillsborofreepress.com.