Lisa's Lines: A new chapter

Lisa Ingebrand

The names, faces, and stories of all the people I’ve met and interviewed over the course of the last 20 years are flooding back to me as I sit down to write this column.

This will be my final column.

After almost two decades working as a writer for the local newspapers, I’ve decided it’s time for a career change.

Thank you to all of you who have welcomed me into your lives and homes and trusted me to share your stories. It has been an honor.

Thank you also to those who have faithfully supported the newspaper and have followed my family’s adventures in this column space. It has been a wild ride.

I was fresh out of college when I began working for the Lake Region LIFE in Waterville and The Elysian Enterprise newspapers, which have since consolidated to The LifeEnterprise. I could write, but I was green to reporting.

Thankfully, I learned from some of the best reporters in the industry:  former Montgomery Messenger editor Wade Young, the late editor of The New Prague Times, Chuck Kajer, LifeEnterprise Editor Jay Schneider, and staff writers Patrick Fisher and Bernadine Hildebrant.

Bernadine, who was retiring from her position in Waterville at the time, kindly took me under her wing. She introduced me around town and accompanied me on some of my first interviews. She provided me with many insights and taught me the importance of engaging in a friendly conversation (and saying “yes” to a cup of coffee) prior to asking any big questions during an interview.

My editors—Wade, Chuck, and Jay—taught me the art of managing deadlines, news flow, and page layouts.

Together, Jay and I have published more than 1,000 editions of Waterville and Elysian’s weekly newspapers. Wade and I proudly put hundreds of editions of the Montgomery Messenger on the newsstands in the more recent years, and every so often, I also helped cover an event or story for The New Prague Times and had the honor to work with both Chuck and Patrick.

From sporting events to council meetings and accident scenes to town celebrations, our dedicated local reporters tirelessly show up with their cameras, notepads, and questions and work to gather the news.
More recently, John Mueller and Jarrod Schoenecker have joined the news team--Mueller as the editor of The New Prague Times and Schoenecker as the editor of the Montgomery Messenger.

I’m grateful to the newspapers’ parent group, Suel Printing Company, and its owners, Chuck and Art Wann, who took the risk of hiring me in the spring of 2003.

Of course, at that time, I never imaged the impact this career would have on my life, the life-long friends I’d make, the incredible stories I’d get to tell, and how fast the years would go by. It has been a wonderful adventure, one I’ll always treasure.

I went to visit my former colleague 101-year-old Bernadine, last week, and after a quick hearing aid adjustment and some friendly conversation, I told her that I will be starting a new career in March. She smiled, took my hands in hers, and offered two words: “Tempus Fugit.”

Time flies.

My new career adventure begins at Camp Omega in rural Waterville.


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