They say all good things must come to an end … and this is my swan song. My husband and I are leaving the area to move closer to our son, and that means I am leaving the Western Wayne News as well. We are looking forward to life in northern Indiana, although I have never actually lived outside of western Wayne County in all my 50 years.

The last 30 of those years have been spent living in Milton and working at the newspaper. I started proofreading in a back office on Saturday evenings on U.S. 40 in Cambridge City for Janis Buhl (another Milton resident at that time), our original owner and founder, even before my husband and I got married.

Through the years, the office has moved locations, employees have come and gone, and ownership has changed.

I got married, we had a son, and eventually he went off to college in Fort Wayne and never came back home.

Somewhere along the way, I graduated from after-hours proofreading, to working in the office, covering occasional events, sorting labels, answering phones, handling customer service, and eventually billing and legal advertising.

Then one day, I started writing a column when I felt there were stories that needed to be told in and around Milton. There was usually a bit of leftover space on the classified pages, so I started contributing my thoughts anonymously … until my co-workers decided I needed a dedicated space in the newspaper along with my photo and byline.

Janis had bought a new camera and wanted to practice with it, or so she said. I found my face staring back at me in the next issue … but my trademark hat was missing. I soon swapped photos to include my hat, and here we are, 15 years and approximately 700 or so columns later.

I’ve enjoyed sharing your stories, my stories, and stories about life in and around Milton through the years, including history and current events alike. 

I’ve gotten to know so many names and faces when friends and neighbors come in to renew their subscriptions, drop off news items, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, advertise garage sales, and so much more … and I am going to miss you all.

I am thankful to have been part of the Western Wayne News team all these years, and I must admit I will be a little bit lost without a Monday printer deadline looming over my shoulder.


And now you understand the sudden recent urge to declutter. I’ve always been a self-admitted pack rat, but I still had no idea how much stuff can be accumulated by staying in one space for 30 years. I really should have started packing and planning for this move about five years ago … whether I knew I was moving or not.

My son, a self-described minimalist, has been helping sort and pack things. After helping to load and move a filing cabinet full of stories and columns and notebooks and clippings and the like, he just looked at me and shook his head. 

“You know this would all fit on a flash drive, right?”

Smart aleck.

I can’t help it. I like paper … good-old-fashioned, hold-in-your-own-two-hands paper and ink. I work at a newspaper, collect stickers, stamps, and stationery, make cards and scrapbooks … I like paper.

I also like hats, but you already knew that. In case you ever wondered how many hat boxes will fit inside a Pontiac GTO — the answer is seventeen. My son counted them. Yes, they all had hats inside, some as many as 3-5, and no, that was not all of my hats or hat boxes … I had to load the rest in my car.


I’ve enjoyed following Milton politics as well, although I can’t remember how long I’ve been attending and writing about town council meetings, grant applications, or road, sewer, sidewalk and water projects. I hope you will continue to be interested in town happenings, and stay active or get involved.

The town of Milton will soon be turning 200 years old and I hope you will participate and celebrate in the upcoming July 5-6 festivities. Buy a commemorative coffee mug, watch the parade, listen to the speakers. I wish our little town all the best and I look forward to seeing the results of the CreatINg Places project at the old Milton school property when I come back for a visit.


Mostly, I wish all of you all the best. Thank you for sharing Just a Milton Minute of your time with me each week. —jsp

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A version of this article appeared in the May 29 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Jenny Pugh is a columnist and business manager at the Western Wayne News.