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Autumnal transitions
Bonnie Retirement Party
THIRTY-FIVE-YEAR Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout employee Bonnie Olson enjoys her retirement party with friends and loved ones gathered around. Dozens of members of the community showed up to thank Bonnie for her years of service to the community and wish her well in her retirement.

GAYS MILLS - Time Marches On. Tempis Fugit, etc, etc. This week, we observe the autumnal equinox, that old three-quarter milepost on our trip around the sun, and you know what that means: we start to feel what the squirrels do and begin to get ready for fall and winter. After the long days of a lazy summer, the shortening days offer the challenge of getting more done in less time.   

Whether the global climate is changing or not in the long term (and we all have an opinion on that), the local weather is changing in the short term, as it does every year. There are no deniers of that.  Depending on where you live and how big your place is, getting ready for what’s to come can either be daunting, or a snap.

You’d think that after living in Wisconsin for the past 47 years, a guy would have a clipboard and a complete checklist of what needs to be done in the season ‘before the snow flies.’ Well I don’t. It’s all up here–tapping my head. I try, not always successfully, to get done what needs to be done in a timely fashion.

Labor Day, county fairs, schools back in session, the Driftless Art Show, Apple Festival and other local events, all remind us of projects and chores that need to be done as the season shifts–so good luck on your preparations for the seasonal transition.

And speaking of transitions, there is a major one going on at the newspaper office:  Bonnie Olson is retiring.  Bonnie has worked at the Independent for 35 years. She has moved with the paper from the quaint little shop behind Marjie Jurgensen’s house to  humble little office next to Robert E’s Barbershop on Main Street to the current luxurious office in the Gays Mills Mercantile Center.

Bonnie is retiring as the office manager, a job with many hats, for the past 13 years, but she filled many important roles before that.  

Bonnie used to call around and get local news from various neighborhoods, a charming feature of the paper that has gradually faded away.  She took pictures, attended an un-tolled number of community board meetings, sold commercial ads, wrote up classified ads, penned wedding announcements, handled subscriptions, and labeled outgoing papers to be mailed all over the county, state, and country–and beyond in some cases.

It has become somewhat rare to find someone retiring from a job they’ve held for 35 years. People shift jobs a lot more often now in the span of a career. 

Bonnie has been a great ambassador for the Independent-Scout. She is always upbeat, positive, friendly, efficient, and helpful as she answers the phone and deals with walk-in customers. She has deep knowledge of her community and the people in it. She has long been my go-to informed source when I want to know about something local.

I always marvel at Bonnie’s computer keyboard - many of the letters are worn completely off of it. For a hunt-and-peck typist like myself, I am repeatedly amazed that she can type with blank keys.

So, this is not ‘goodbye’ Bonnie, because I’m sure you will be around. You are too deep-rooted in your community to live anywhere else. But ‘so long’ and thanks for your many years of service to your community.