When you visit Laura Mick of Pine River this time of year, what you notice first about her Norway Brook Apartment are the 10 Christmas stockings hanging on the inside of her door.
These stockings were part of a Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo promotion. When you purchased a gift subscription around Christmastime, it came with a stocking.
Mick’s son, Wyatt Dupont, has been giving her a Journal subscription as a Christmas present since before the promotion began.
“Every year he brings me the Pine River paper. I kind of hinted for him to bring me the one that was in Pequot,” Mick said.
Even before Dupont started buying Mick’s annual Pine River Journal subscription, she had been a loyal subscriber since 1963, when Mick and her family moved into the community from Silver Creek near Monticello. Back then the newspaper was a way for her to get to know her neighbors.
“We didn’t know a soul in town ... They used to have ladies that would write news items from a neighborhood. They had them from Longville, Backus and around. That’s how we got to know them,” Mick said. “We didn’t know the people, but we would read the articles, so the name would start to stick with us.”
At that time news in the newspaper was not limited to government, business, education, road construction and other big news items, but also included information about the daily lives of local people. By reading about people going on vacation or visiting with neighbors and family, Mick was able to get to know her neighbors before they ever met.
Mick’s mother used to write similar community news for a newspaper in Annandale, so she has a certain appreciation and understanding for the press. For the 50 years she has lived in Pine River or Backus, she has had a subscription every year. In that time she has noted the changes in the newspaper’s style and content.
“That old paper years ago was news from one end to the other. Then gradually businesses would do their own advertising and I suppose they wouldn’t advertise in the paper and they gradually left. Then it was more like a school paper, you might say,” Mick said. “Now, you get a lot of what they are doing with road work and construction and changes and things.”
Mick had considered subscribing to the Lake Country Echo years ago, so she has enjoyed the Pineandlakes Echo Journal since the merger.
“I like it all. I like the new paper. I wish they had done that quite a few years ago. I wouldn’t be without the Journal,” Mick said.
The PineandLakes Echo Journal is again offering its stocking promotion. Buy a gift subscription for $30-$37 at the Echo Journal office in Pequot Lakes and get a stocking as wrapping.