I’m always a little wistful this time of year….It was July, right about this date, that I first met the late Elizabeth Coblentz. I was a shy, uncertain 18-year-old and I never dreamed that 22 years later – less shy, but still uncertain – the column I conceived and created would still be humming along. Crazy how life works. Here is a photo of the old Coblentz homestead outside of Geneva, Indiana. Looks beautiful in the twilight. I was doing some cleaning in my office last night and I came across the first note Elizabeth ever wrote to me. She tucked it inside an envelope with her first columns, a short and sweet note:
Good Morn –
Hope all are well! Same here!
Enclosed would be 2 issues for 1 month. Is this what you meant to do – the way I have set them up? Done it in a hurry as we’ve been so busy. Just hope the enclosed is the right material you wanted. If this isn’t what you prefer – let me know! Really I don’t care to have my name signed to each issue if that’s okay with you to not have my name signed to it. It’s your column. Okay? Must get going as I have a tour this p.m. and always plenty to do. Take care!
Mrs. Ben A. (Elizabeth) Coblentz
PS Just hope these write-ups are what you were wanting. Good luck!
Interesting to read the above note because at first Elizabeth did not want her name with the column and I was more than happy to go along with that. Editors at newspapers, however, quickly balked at the idea of just using her first name. In retrospect, maybe I should have just assigned her a pen name. This was 1991 and Elizabeth offered occasional tours of her home in conjunction with the local Visitors Bureau so that is the reference to a “tour” that she made. But from that humble beginning, the column grew and I built it brick by brick and here we are…..Thank you readers for some wonderful – if not always easy – years, hopefully many more ahead!