• Last modified 492 days ago (April 18, 2018)


Correspondent calls it quits

Staff writer

Arlene Pankratz of Hillsboro has written ‘Round the Town’ correspondence for the Hillsboro Star-Journal for so long she cannot remember when she started.

“It’s been a long time,” she said. “I was given a list of names to call, but I soon found out which ones not to call, and which ones to call.”

She spent every Monday morning gathering news.

“People were supposed to call me with news, but I had to call them,” she said. “They had news, but they didn’t call me.”

Now 94, Pankratz recently moved to Parkside Homes and has given up collecting news.

She is thankful she has good eyesight. She reads a lot.

“I have worn glasses since I was in the seventh grade,” she said. “I have one bad eye, but with glasses, I have no problem.”

She also enjoys embroidery and is working on a days-of-the-week dishtowel set for her daughter, Donna Diener of Hillsboro.

Pankratz last renewed her driver’s license four years ago at age 90. After passing a written test with flying colors, she was issued a new license.

“All the way to Marion, I worried that I would have to take a driving test,” she said. “I cried all the way back home because I didn’t have to. When I moved here, I wanted to keep my car, but there is no place to park it here.”

She relies on her children for transportation to church at Durham or for other trips.

She owns 160 acres of land near Durham that she rents to a nephew and her son, Kenneth, who lives on the farm.

Pankratz has a positive attitude about her life at Parkside Homes. She said the care is good, and her room is kept clean. She takes part in social activities and attends Sunday afternoon church services there.

“I enjoy life,” she said. “The food is always good.”

Hoch Publishing Company used to have country correspondents in almost every community in the county. There are just two remaining. One uses the convenience of email.

Margie Williams, 86, of Cedar Point has been providing news from Wonsevu since the 1960s and plans to continue.

“You can’t give up, you have to keep going,” she said.

Dora Unruh, 84, of Durham has been writing Northwest of Durham news since the 1980s.

Last modified April 18, 2018