A few months shy of the first anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, an event that affected the central Washington town where I lived, I persuaded a friend to accompany me on a road trip to northern Idaho, where I’d been invited for a job interview.
It was the spring of 1981, and news of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan filled the interior of my small car as we pulled up in front of the Sandpoint Bee’s office. Inside, reporters scrambled for a local angle on the news.
At that point, my only experience in journalism was an internship on a paper in Moses Lake, Washington. I was a late bloomer—thirty-eight, and the mother of three teenaged kids. After two hours with editor Bruce Botka, he offered me the job, but added, “By the way, would you mind driving another twenty miles northeast to visit the Priest River Times’ office?” Continue reading →