Although a lot has changed at the Verdigre Eagle in the past 50 years, one thing has not - the family in charge of the weekly paper. Dan and Glenna Pavlik took over the newspaper from Dan Brown in 1966. Although it took 3 weeks to put out their first issue, the Eagle has been published every week since then. Today, their daughter, Lisa Wessendorf, and her husband, Jason, are carrying on the weekly tradition.
When Dan passed away in October of 2005, the family rallied to get the paper out that week and in the weeks to follow. Dan's brother Keith came to help and stayed 6 months. Son Rick helped most weekends for over 2 years. Daughter Jeannie worked at the office until May of 2008. That is when Lisa moved back to Verdigre, and she worked in the office as well. In October of 2011, Jennie phased out and by December, Lisa and Jason were running the paper. Lisa's mom, Glenna, still helps out at the paper. One of her main jobs is writing the popular "Glancing Back" column each week. Lisa joked that her mom keeps turning in her retirement papers, but they keep shredding them!
Through the years, the greatest changes have been the method of typesetting and how putting out the paper is not nearly as labor-intensive now. "I just remember mom and dad working all the time," reflected Lisa. "He [dad] did the best he could keeping up with the technology and I wish he could see how 'easy' it is now compared to when he started. I think he would be proud of our advertisers and readers for supporting us over the last 50 years and through the tough times."
The Eagle used a Linotype machine until 1980. Ads were held together with rubber bands and each line of the paper was set individually. At the Open House Friday, visitors could see the original machines used to set and print the paper. Today, the paper is sent to the printer by the click of a mouse.
When asked about the husband and wife team running the paper , Glenna's eyes lit up. "Jason has found his niche. He is a great asset. [Lisa] has a natural talent for ads. I am very proud of them."
As well she should be.