You know the old saying, “Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes and it will change.” Well, it’s not just the weather—as we grow older, we start to realize the one true constant in life is change and sometimes it comes fast and hits hard and other times, it’s just a slip into a different frame of reference.
As you may know if you are a frequent contact of mine, I have just this week been transferred over to the Burton View coverage area. It’s a lateral transfer; really just what I’ve been doing, but with new people and more of a concentration on schools (Burton has four school districts).
I will miss many of the people I have worked with in Grand Blanc, some who have become friends and some who I have learned from—both positively and negatively. I have learned the Grand Blanc community is very generous and giving, always supporting those in need not only in their community, but in the greater Flint area.
I am sure I will find the same in Burton, having covered at least one fundraiser there. Burton is closer for me than much of my former territory too. I’ve had many interesting jobs over the years, starting out at 16 as a very temporary carhop for a little drive-in by my Dad’s old house on Brown’s Lake in Burlington, Wisconsin.
This was just before we moved to town, where I soon got a job at Hardee’s for the majority of my remaining high school years. I still hate the smell of french-fry grease which permeates fast food places.
Then I went into the Army and became a combat medic. I had originally signed up for Military Police (MP), I think to please my dad, who was a police officer at one point, but it was 1979 and, in those days, if there was a way they could get you out—they did. Claimed I had slept in class, which I had, once, nodded off while standing against the wall—which they allowed if you felt sleepy during lecture time.
They claimed it was three times, but c’est la vie (that’s life). After training at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, I went to Germany where life in an ambulance company meant spending two-weekson the road with units who were out in the field for annual field training.
I reenlisted as a cook for what seemed to be a lucrative $5,000 bonus and after training it was back to Germany where I was ironically assigned to a MP unit and used to deliver food to the MP’s who guarded a Class A NATO site; which was followed up with a tour at Ft. Benning, Georgia before I gave up Active Duty service.
I also served about 11 years in the Reserve and it has been mostly journalism and medical or medical/ administrative work since then. I’m looking forward to serving the residents of Burton in my newest role.
Paula K. Schmidt is a reporter for the View Newspapers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.