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News-Times Memories: The 1970s and 80s

Past News-Times connections reminisce.

There are so many happy, sometimes crazy/funny, memories of my 18 years as courier, paper boy, front desk person, basement cleaner-outer, writer etc. with the News-Times!

There were four or five editors during that time, plus sports writers, ad reps, society and news columnists, writers in general joining the staff and bringing their unique talents with them. Many times they moved on and many times we missed them.

One story written by Pat Wagler and one written about her stand out in my memory. Pat wrote about my mother, Jeanette Claghorn, and her love affair with miniatures, and especially her doll house. Pat captured her so beautifully; our family was overjoyed. And Eric Stewart's photographs? Oh my!

A second story was written at the time of Pat's retirement after a long and very successful career with the News-Times as the 'Society Columnist.' She was amazing and I was asked to write her story!

I was a nervous wreck, but so proud to have been asked. Well, the story was written, well-received and we became 'Pat-2,' and forever friends!

- Pat Yoakum retired from the newspaper business in 1989 and lives in Forest Grove.

When I think about my years with the News-Times, it's the people with whom I worked - not stories or events - that come to mind.

There is Mr. McGilvra (I never called him Hugh out of respect and fear), who was the owner/publisher at the time.

Gray-haired and near the end of his newspaper career, he still carried a notebook (the paper kind) and pen wherever he went. He wrote his stories on an old (even then) manual typewriter, and he took photos using a box camera even though we had modern SLRs. He was definitely old-school.

Once, as we were pasting up a page on deadline while trying to make it look good with a modular design, he barked at us, 'This is a newspaper, not a damn magazine!'

Perhaps my favorite co-worker at the News-Times was Pat Wagler. She was not only a fellow journalist but a friend.

Her 'Around and About' column was easily the most read item in the paper. Pat was the epitome of community journalism.

She knew everybody in and everything about the area. And she was such a positive and caring person. About the only time I saw her really get frustrated was when we made the switch to computers, and that's because they kept freezing on us, often resulting in the loss of entire stories or hours of work. Newspapers today - dailies and weeklies - need more Pat Waglers.

There are many others I could mention. I enjoyed working under editors Margaret Spangler and Scott Dalton and managers Mike Tom, Rick Fryback and Jackie Agee. All were tireless workers and great people. We were privileged to have worked for the News-Times and serve the wonderful people of Forest Grove and its surrounding communities.

- Craig Sonoda, a 1977 graduate of Pacific University, served as sports editor and, later, as managing editor of the News-Times in the '80s. He and his wife, Janine (Terhorst, FGHS '74) live in Boise, Idaho, where Craig has worked for the past 23 years at the Idaho Statesman.