Happy Retirement to Marie McCandless!

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Last night, Latrobe Bulletin staff, writers and guests met at Gino Gianilli’s in Latrobe to celebrate the career of news editor Marie McCandless, who is retiring after 29 years with the daily newspaper. Dave and I were happy that we could be there at the party.

During her 29 years with the Latrobe Bulletin, Marie has worked as a proofreader, staff writer, editor and, finally, news editor. Along with writing her own stories for the paper (including her experience flying in a biplane over Latrobe!) and editing others’ pieces, Marie edited my feature stories and summaries of the various meetings I cover in Ligonier. I can’t remember exactly when Marie and I started corresponding, but sometime during my ten years of writing for the Latrobe Bulletin, we started exchanging strings of emails.

Because I’m a stringer, I don’t work full-time at the Latrobe Bulletin office, so it really has been nice to maintain a personal connection there over the years. Marie has given me vacation suggestions and shared stories of her family (including her dog, Red) and her travels. We also shared our thoughts and feelings on our experiences with cancer, as the disease has touched both of our lives. Marie is very active with the American Cancer Society and participates in Latrobe’s Relay for Life every year with the M&M Melanoma Warriors.

I’d just like to say, thank you, Marie, for editing my stories and sharing your own stories and words of wisdom with me over the years. Thank you for the words of encouragement when I struggled to deal with the cancer that affected my family. Thank you for your support of my book and for cheering me on during my first book talk. Good luck and happy retirement! I’m glad you no longer have to listen to those 4:00a.m. alarms. Enjoy your time and make the most of it in whatever way makes you happy!

The Ligonier Echo celebrates 125 years in print!

Ligonier EchoToday marks the 125th anniversary of the Ligonier Echo – the Ligonier Valley’s hometown newspaper!

The weekly newspaper was first published on September 5, 1888.  It wasn’t the first newspaper in Ligonier (four others preceded it), but it’s been the longest running of those publications. The location of the office has changed over the years, and so has its ownership, but the paper continues to report news from Ligonier every Thursday. Today, the Ligonier Echo is managed by Trib Total Media, which took it over from the Laurel Group. In its early days it was managed for almost 70 years by the Graham family, ever since Professor I.M. Graham became editor and owner in 1890.

Please check out today’s issue of the Ligonier Echo for a special commemorative section celebrating the paper’s anniversary.

I’ve been privileged to write several local history features for the Ligonier Echo during my career, some of which I was able to include in Ligonier Valley Vignettes.  I have to thank Editor Debbie Brehun for the opportunities to write these pieces and the Tribune-Review for permission to reprint them in my book.

I’ve also made a couple of really good friends through the Echo, like my friend Jewels.  Sadly (for me), Jewels has moved onto a wonderful new job opportunity, so I don’t get to see her at my regular meetings in Ligonier any more, but I can see her at lunchtime, since her new office is a short walk away from my day job.

So here’s to 125 more years for the Ligonier Echo and future Ligonier history articles for me to dive into

*Source Consulted:  Shirey, Sally. Images of America: Ligonier Valley. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2001. Print.