Columns

2017.03.01 Observer Antics

Observer Antics

Note: Let me butt into Bella’s column to satisfy the curious: My radiation treatments got underway Monday. My working hours are reduced for a couple of months due to travel time and I might not be able to attend all the events that I used to cover.

As far as her column below is concerned, she must be making it up. You know I wouldn’t act this way. – DGG

By BELLA HEILNER

Here at the Observer, we have anything but a “normal” work environment. And in the past few years I have worked with David there haven’t been many dull moments. Anyone that knows me, my family, or David and Colleen would know that we are all quite mischievous. I thought I would write this column to give you all insight into the fact that along with all of the hard work that goes into putting each edition of this paper together, there is also a lot of laughter.

One addressing night, when my Mom and younger brother Noah had left to deliver to the stores in town, David and I thought up a plan. We repositioned or knocked over every piece of furniture in the front office before emptying the cash register and leaving the door ajar. What good plan doesn’t include duct tape? We each put a piece of tape over our mouths and got into place. David was sitting in his chair, holding his hands behind his back as if they were bound. I did the same and laid on the floor to make it look as if I had fallen.

Noah was the first to walk upon the scene. He promptly turned around and ran the other way. After raising five children my mother has an innate ability to analyze any given situation and she quickly determined a call to 911 was unnecessary. But I do believe that we gave her quite a fright.

Mr. Green likes to live green. Whenever it’s nice enough, we walk. When we are on the way back from a sporting event or returning from an evening of work addressing papers, David and I part ways at the corner where our streets intersect. Whoever makes it to their front porch first gives a signal. David’s go-to is a Tarzan call. Mine is the howl of the wolf.

David isn’t one to decorate for holidays, so Mom and I always go into the office after-hours to do the work. Our personal favorite is Halloween, when she and I stop by the local vegetable stand to stock up on an array of pumpkins and gourds to use to decorate. I don’t quite remember what David texted me after seeing what we had done for the first time, but I do remember that he was quite amused. Secretly, I think he likes it. This past season he even strung up a few of the gourds from the ceiling. 

Through David’s period of sickness a couple months back, I made multiple trips to and from the office and Green residence to drop off and pick up camera cards so that David could work from home. One notable visit was the night I left in the middle of a snowstorm, in my Batman pajama bottoms and flip flops, and came back with a full set of encyclopedias that Colleen was looking to re-home. Rarely can you leave their house empty handed, whether it is with a box full of books that you didn't expect or a bag of “grown up chocolates” as David calls them. P.S. I do not share the sweets.

I have learned many things through working at the paper. Always maintain your composure, especially when answering a call because you never know when it could be David on the other end of the line posing as a customer.  Be leery of going to the restroom. There is a good chance you will be barricaded inside. 

Remain on guard and be ready to duck at any given moment. You never know what is going to come flying through the air. Always check your bags and coat pockets upon returning home to see what random items David has stuffed in them. For example, outdated computer discs from the 90s or party favor sized bottles of bubbles from a wedding he attended years before. My brothers sometime leave with much stranger items.

It may not be your normal work environment, but for me it is perfect. I am privileged to be a part of this paper and have such amazing mentors. To me they are family. So here’s to many more years and laughs along the way.