Deb VE foto 1

Deb Van Engelenhoven

So many days I look forward to the mail delivery to my mailbox at the Herald. I never know what might be inside those envelopes and packages coming to me in the mail.

As I pull them out of the mailbox I often glance through them to see where the return addresses are from.

You can’t even imagine the things I receive in the mail. You already know about the coins sent to me to give to the Nelson Pioneer Farm. But I have been sent books and buttons and old editions of the newspapers also.

I have been sent copies of an article with something circled for me to review, suggestions on stories that they would like to have written, and requests for me to do research for them concerning something that appeared in an edition of the newspaper.

My favorites in the mail, by far, are the hand-written letters to me. Often the letters are filled with memories and stories due to an article that sparked their attention or interest. Often I am asked if I know or remember something.

There are many reasons why I truly love my job. But those segments of time when I can interact with our readers are my favorite part of my job. I learn so much more from them than they learn from me I am sure.

Beyond the letters, my second favorite part is my voice messages. Those, too, contain so many of our readers thoughts. Many of the messages make me laugh, a few make me concerned, but most make me remember how lucky I am to know so many people that can leave me a little – “Hey Deb thought you might be interested in . . . . “ kind of a message.

Most often they end with “You really don’t need to call me back. Just thought I would let you know.”

I think about how it must have been in the old days in that big old building downtown. Yes, I worked in that old building but I wasn’t the publisher. Since there was no other way to communicate, I wonder how big the letter bags were that were delivered to them each day.

I used to watch, too, as many of the business people from downtown would stop by for a personal visit. There was no e-mail back then so dropping by to visit was the next best thing.

Many times we could hear laughter coming from the office upstairs and would wonder who or what was so funny. Times have changed, but the friendships have not. So, I look forward to your letters, your phone calls and your visits. Keep them coming.