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Betty Windsor: Keying Journal success since 1960s

Community Portrait
By: Michael Kirby
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The year was 1969. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, the Woodstock Art and Music Festival took place in upstate New York and Richard Nixon became 37th president of the United States. That same year in our little town a lady named Betty Windsor finished 12 years as a stay-at-home mom raising her daughter and re-entered the job market taking a position at the Auburn Journal as a typist. Now, 41 years later, Windsor, 75, is still banging away at the keyboard, and has earned the title of providing the longest service of any employee at the Auburn Journal. Windsor’s employment began not too long after Bill and Mona Brehm purchased the Auburn Journal and Placer Herald from Auburn’s Cassidy family. The paper had moved to its present location not too many years before she began her job, and the building was still one story. Bill Pfaff was the publisher, Vernon “Mac” McCann was the general manager and Helen Bale was in the newsroom. Veteran reporter Joe Carroll manned a desk, Viola Demas was the business manager and Bill Furlong worked in the ad department. The paper still used linotype, now considered antiquated in newspaper production. During her tenure, Windsor has been challenged with learning four new computer systems. “I kind of get a crash course with each change and learn by doing and by my mistakes,” Windsor said. Over the years Windsor’s job has included typing editorial copy and legal notices. Currently she types mostly legal notices that are in the back of the newspaper behind the classified ads. Fictitious business names, letters to the editor, lien sales, auction sales, name changes, summons and petitions to administer to estates are the bulk of her work, though she is asked to type anything needed for newspaper production. It might seem boring to most people but Windsor has always liked the work, as tedious as it can be at times. Her work has not gone unnoticed as she has received numerous awards recognizing her service. Her first award came as employee of the quarter in 1983. Company pride awards followed in 1993, 1994, 1995 and twice in 1997. And last Friday at the annual Auburn Journal employee appreciation party, she was honored for her more than 40 years of service and dedication — longer than many employees are old. Windsor has worked long after normal retirement age because she is happy at her job. “I have no plans for retirement, this job is the perfect job for me, the hours are great and it gets me out of the house,” she said. Windsor spends much of her free time singing in the choir at Faith Lutheran Church in Meadow Vista where she has made her home since 1962. Under the direction of local guitarist Ralph Hammer, and along with a very active group, Windsor loves singing with the choir and performing in church.