(Editor's Note: We only recently came across this story written last June by Cindy Peters for the Northwest Public Power District newsletter. We've been reading the Dawes County Historical Society's "Golden Age Courier" for years and always look forward to receiving it. Thanks to Cindy Peters for allowing us to reprint her story!)
By Cindy Peters
It’s pretty common to find a copy of the Golden Age Courier lying around in waiting rooms, restaurants and at various businesses every month. This popular free tabloid began nearly 33 years ago on Sept. 30, 1987.
|Ginger Campbell of rural Chadron has returned|
to desktop publishing and laying out the
Golden Age Courier in the comfort of her home.
“The Courier is a product of the Dawes County Historical Society,” noted current editor Ginger Campbell. Campbell, of rural Chadron, has compiled the Courier for nearly 15 years.
“I worked at The Chadron Record three different times for a total of 14 and a half years altogether and always did the Courier layout,” explained Campbell. “I first worked on the Courier with my aunt, Lucille Redfern, then Belle Lecher and then Ron Wineteer. I retired from the Record in 2015.”
“My first job in printing was at B&B Printing working for Warren Brooks,” said Campbell. The couple relocated to Colorado, where the Chadron native’s experience in newspaper production began in Brighton, where she typeset and worked on the legals. Campbell returned back to the family farm, where she has lived her entire life, with the exception of a few years in Colorado, a year in Montana and a year in Washington.
“I graduated from Chadron High in 1968, then graduated from the National College of Business in Rapid City, which no longer exists. Then went to work at the CNW railroad as a clerk in the Supt's office until I got married,” she explained. Late last Summer, she was approached by her cousin, Sharon Rickenbach, President of the Board for Dawes County Historical Society, asking her about taking over the Courier, when the late Ron Wineteer stepped down.
“My first issue was in September 2018. I started doing the layout myself at home in October,” said Campbell. This required her to get set up with a graphic design program, called QuarkExpress. It didn’t take her long to get it set up and since then she is happy to report the Courier’s first color issue was in April. “I was familiar with it so it was easy to take on. I sometimes had to find filler for Ron. I just wish I was a journalist so I could write stories, but I'm clueless when it comes to that,” said Campbell.
The Courier has several contributors. She receives articles from several people. “I'm always looking for ideas. Anyone can send me something they'd like to see in it. I don't want to put in too much silly stuff, but that's the most fun. If I see something I think is interesting, either in an email or on facebook or anywhere else, I put it in. I try to stay away from politics. I search through old issues and reprint some things from years ago,” explained Campbell. Campbell said she doesn’t keep track of the time she spends on it.
“It doesn't seem like very much, but it's probably more than I think. It's all volunteer so I guess I don't worry about keeping track,” she explained. “Ron always had things lined up for three months in advance. I end up getting it done at the last minute,” she chuckled. Once the pages are complete, she sends them to The Chadron Record and it is forwarded to the Rapid City Journal where it is printed. They have recently increased their circulation. “We have gone up to 1200 copies and it is distributed around Chadron, Crawford and Hay Springs,” noted Campbell.
|The first edition of the Golden Age Courier - September 1987|
“There are a few subscribers that I send it out to. People who have moved away and still want to see it. It is a free publication thanks to the advertisers. Subscribers pay for the postage to send it,” said Campbell. The original editorial board included Don Huls, retired publisher of The Chadron Record, Lucille Redfern, Ed Davenport, Woody and Audrey Woodward, Mary Kuhnel, Alice Faulk, Jo Fox, and Herb Place. “In looking through old issues I see that Goldie Dawkins and Lloy Chamberlain were editors for a while,” said Campbell.
Pam Littrel currently sells the advertising. Campbell gets some of them sent to her and she sets up part of them. Campbell’s favorite part of her volunteer project is finding fun things to put in it. Although she does most of it herself, her daughter, Jenifer Tidman, and husband Stan helps her with it when he is not working.
“He is a veteran and enjoys talking to veterans for those articles and he helps me distribute it, but Pam does most of the delivery. My grandkids help when they can,” said Campbell.”
She enjoys the fact she can work on it when she gets the chance while staying in her home. She and Stan have been married 46 years. He works at Bomgaars part-time and is in the process of trying to retire. They no longer raise crops or livestock, they rent out their pasture. The couple have two children, and 10 grandchildren, ranging in age from 3 to 20.
“Our daughter, Jenifer and her husband Tim Tidyman moved here four years ago from Hayes Center. They have five children, two in college and three in Chadron Public Schools. Our son, Russ and his wife Gina and their 5 children live in Scottsbluff.” In Campbell’s spare time she enjoys a lot of sewing and crafts. The Campbells live east of Chadron on Redfern Road.