Although my name is Mildred, feel free to call me Millie. I’d guess there are an equal number of name-callers who use one as much as the other. I answer to both. At present I live in Granville, Ohio, a small village near Columbus. The village was settled more than 200 years ago. It is beautiful, peaceful, clean and family-centered. My only fear is that one day the ghost of Norman Rockwell will leap out at me from behind a perfectly manicured yew, making me scream and cause a scene. We do not like scenes for any reason in the village. We’re much too civilized for that sort of behavior. I often write about living here in Perfect Town, USA. It might surprise you.
My writing career began some 50 years ago as a publicity writer at WSM Radio, home of the Grand Ole Opry. I wasn’t a big fan of country music, but I wrote glowing stories about it anyway. It was the most fun I ever had to date. I was paid very little because it was considered a “glamour” job. But I was a young wife, and way back in those dark ages, it was de rigueur for same to work in a lucrative position in order to help her husband save money, buy a house, and start a family. I took a well-paying job at the Baptist Publishing House writing advertising copy. It was strictly non-glamorous, but it served its purpose.
I took a five-year hiatus from writing to serve as a house frau and a mother, at which time First Husband divorced me, and I had to return to the work force. I soon became a stringer for local papers in Central Ohio. It was fun as well, and I learned a great deal about newspapers. I also edited scholarly papers and others to increase my income.
My career reached its zenith when I was named editor of a Gannett newspaper. I, along with two others wrote, photographed, and edited the paper. We loved the job and the paper, which we brought from obscurity to a huge money maker. I wrote “Jottings,” an account of my adventures, many of which are also described in this blog. I had the most fun as Francesca Fairchild, my doppelganger, whose identity was unknown to the readers for two years. She wrote “Letters to Buffy,” in which she sent the latest gossip about real local residents as well as imagined ones.
I included many stories about my family, whose identities were also shrouded by fictitious names. My real daughter, Mandy, was Francesca’s “Muffin.” My grandsons, Michael and Evan were “Little Tadpole,” and “Baby Dumpling.” Toddlers back then, Michael is now 21 and Evan is 17. All three of my real offspring are brilliant, witty and extremely attractive. Sometimes people accuse me of prejudice when I describe them as such, but those naysayers are dead wrong. I share them with Husband #2, John, from whom I am also divorced, but we are best friends.
So… I left Gannett, whose suits were delighted to see the back of me. It seems I gave the managing editor the pip, despite my best efforts to be subservient and a loyal Gannett cheerleader. My two co-conspirators also left, and the paper died an agonizing death a year later.
After that inglorious leave-taking, I worked as a news writer and a columnist for The Columbus Dispatch, a Gannett competitor. I wasn’t a bit good at hard news reporting, and I went out on my own, founding, writing and editing The Morning Rooster, an e-zine, with all kinds of columns, and my features. It lasted two years, and I closed it down for lack of continuing funds.
It’s been free lancing for me ever since. I became a travel writer, which was even more fun, and yielded a ton of stories. I contributed to Seniorwire, a senior syndicate, and a website, go60.us, also a senior-slanted periodical. No doubt about it. I am now a “senior,” more’s the pity. I certainly don’t feel like a senior, and I know there are a lot of stories left in the old girl yet.
I hope you enjoy them. Please let me know, pro or con.
Mildred, A.K.A. Millie