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Weekly was the start of wonderful career

I wanted to second Jim Low’s notion of his success at writing for small weeklies. Thirty-one years ago a trio of housewives in eastern Warren County were lamenting the fact the local daily rag never covered much news from the hinterlands, especially their small town.
“We should start our own newspaper and do it ourselves,” one opined. So they did. They sallied forth with notepads and pens, and contracted with a daily competitor of the former publication to do layout and printing. A couple of years after their successful launch, and recognizing they knew next to nothing about things outdoorsy, in their wisdom they fortuitously contacted me to ask if I’d take the outdoor beat.
“Nope!” I replied. At that point in time my days were filled with a “real” job, plus three part-time ventures, plus a lot of volunteer duty for church and the county council for the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. However, they persisted and eventually wore down my resistance. As a compromise I offered to cover that fall from October to December, after which they could find themselves a “real outdoor writer.”
Nearly 30 years later I’m still at it. That inauspicious beginning eventually got me into myriad other activities: immediate acceptance in other publications, a couple of books, emceeing sports-related dinners and banquets, slide shows of my adventures, travel- and sports-show appearances, my own radio program and hosting my own travel and adventure films. I’ve traveled all over the United States, most of Canada and enjoyed the OWAA jaunt to England in 1986. All this, thanks to a weekly column.
These days I’ve slowed down considerably, mainly due to an inoperable congenital heart condition and advancing age. I’m not looking for more markets, larger markets, or anything else. I’m graciously thankful for the three gals who trusted me to make the cut, and for the opportunity to enjoy over half my life doing things many only dream of.
Today the weekly is owned by the last of the three originals, but I remain the only male staffer who’s been involved in it since shortly after the first issue. It’s been a fun ride. And it’s only a weekly.
Paul Jukes,
Bear Lake, Pa.

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