You know who they are.
They are the “go-to” people with whom you work.
They know the ins and outs of the business. Who you contact for what. Where you look for information. Why it is important to do things a certain way. When specific things need to be done, and how to make it happen.
These folks are the glue that holds an operation together.
We have one of those people at The Lima News. Her name is Ginger Hollar. Technically, she works in the advertising department. In reality, she helps us all.
She’s been here 47 years — yes, 47 years. At the end of the month, she’s going to be leaving us for retirement. It’s a scary thought.
Ginger began working here during the golden era of newspapers, before anyone even knew what a computer was, let alone a cell phone. If you had an electric typewriter, you must have been some kind of boss or big shot. Most people banged out their work on a Royal manual typewriter.
In fact, that was part of Ginger’s job when then-editor Tom Mullen hired her in 1973 as a “copy girl.” She not only fetched stories off the tickertape and ran them back and forth from the production department to the newsroom, but she made sure all the typewriter ribbons were in working order. The last thing anyone wanted was for a breaking news story to be missed on deadline because a reporter was fumbling around trying to change a typewriter ribbon.
Ginger’s third day on the job was the November general election, and she quickly learned that at a newspaper in the 1970s, there was no such thing as political correctness.
A newsroom back then was a place where people smoked cigarettes as they worked, emptied the ashtrays on their desks maybe once a week if lucky, got wired on coffee, and swore. And when they were done doing all of that, they did it some more.
“It was quite an eye-opener,” she said.
It was her first job after graduating from Bath High School — her dad heard about the position while golfing and “suggested” she look into it.
She was paid well that first year — $2 an hour plus a $20 Christmas bonus.
What wasn’t there to like?
“It was fast-paced and exciting. It had my attention,” Ginger said.
She was on the job about a week when another business where she had applied contacted her.
“My dad said, ‘You told The Lima News you would work there. You made a commitment. Give it a year,’” Ginger recalled, then added, “Well, I’m still here.”
At one time or another, she’s worked in almost every department at the newspaper. She has been part of “at least eight” new computer system installations in an industry that not only has seen change, but change of changes made to things that were originally changed.
The job wasn’t all work when she started. There was play. The Lima News had a legendary softball team not because of the games it won, but for the string of defeats it suffered.
Then there were the 22 years she worked when The Lima News was located at 121 E. High Street in downtown.
“It was in the heart of the city and some strange thing was always happening. One of the girls got ready to leave work one day and found someone sleeping in her car. There also was a person who dressed up as Batman — he actually thought he was Batman.”
Over the years The Lima News has had many long-term associates — people who have worked at the newspaper 30 to 40 years before retiring. The newspaper is the only place Ginger has worked, and she continues to count many of those people as friends today.
Many of life’s key moments have happened to Ginger during those Lima News years. Tops on her list are meeting her future husband, Randy, at church and raising their two children, Kyla and Dru.
“People will say to me, ‘You’re still working at the News?’ Yeah, I’m still here. It’s been a good job for me … a family-oriented company where if I needed time off to be with my family, I could do so. I’ve always appreciated that.”
And we at the newspaper have always appreciated you, Ginger.
Have a wonderful retirement.
ROSES AND THORNS: Is that a motorcycle we hear in the rose garden?
Rose: To Bob Johns, of Lima. At age 81, he still rides his 2003 Honda Gold Wing. He and a friend took a three-day, 1,300-mile road trip in April to buy a hamburger at the Moonshine General Store in Illinois. The fourth-generation Lima resident also swims 500 yards three days a week and has a basement full of exercise equipment.
Rose: To Minnie Moenter, 78, of Delphos. She says she is doing fine now after being sidelined by COVID for 99 days — 24 at Mercy Health St. Rita’s and 75 at Vancrest of Delphos. “Gordon (her husband of 58 years) and I were really careful, wearing masks, staying home and not going out, yet somehow I got it. I went to bed two days before Christmas feeling good and woke up three weeks later not knowing where I was or how I got there,” Minnie said.
Rose: To Wes Allen, 18, of Ada, who wrote and directed the play currently at Encore Theatre, “A Work in Progress.”
Rose: Several couples from the Lima area are celebrating more than 60 years of marriage:
• Margaret and Robert Rettig, of Lima will be married 65 years on Wednesday.
• Sharon and Joseph Horstman, of Ottoville, and Persetta and Charles Bowsher, of Lima, will celebrate 60 years of marriage on Thursday.
• Jackie and Mike Reynolds, of Lima, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last Thursday.
Rose: To Isabelle Marie Krumel, who was born Thursday and is the first grandchild of my wife, Mary Beth, and I. Parents are Joseph and Sarah, of Loveland, Ohio.
Thorn: On Thursday, a gallon of gas was $2.99 on the west side of Lima but could be found at $2.81 on the east side. What’s up with that?
Thorn: “I should have listened to my mom.” The quote of the week is from Robert Reynolds, 41, of Lima, who was sentenced to six years in prison on drug-related charges. His mother warned him that “Lima was like a suction hole; you get caught up in things you shouldn’t.”
PARTING SHOT: “You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.” — George Burns
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.