Reporting the News Amid a Pandemic

Uncertainty should be scary, but it’s been too long and those effects have since worn off

6 min readJan 22, 2021
Photo by Teslariu Mihai on Unsplash

The first feature story I picked up as a syndicated freelancer with Gannett was on a man who was retiring after 56 years of employment with the same manufacturer. Making metal milk crates by hand, Gary started working there two weeks before his 18th birthday in 1963.

He was the first of his family to find work off the farm, but felt it was his duty. Most of the men in his hometown of Marion were serving in the Vietnam War. Local businesses needed employees and families across Eastern Iowa needed to wake up to milk on their doorsteps.

In 1964, Gary left to do a tour in Vietnam, immediately returning to work nine months later when he arrived home.

During the interview, I asked him to share his secret for success for his dedication to his job.

“How have you stuck it out?” I inquired.

He told me it was by having nothing to do with his coworkers. “I come in, go to my station and do my job. I keep my head down and mind my business. I never spend time with them outside of work, not even at the company Christmas party.” he said.