Gullickson types final period on her news career
By Annette Tait
The typewriter keys stand idle now, after more than 35 years of cranking out area news and observations. Tales of the old dog and the bird-chasing cats, so familiar to Potpourri readers, no longer grace the pages of this newspaper. This time, Lucille Gullickson really has retired.
“I guess it’s about time,” she laughed.
Gullickson’s career as a newswoman, editor, and columnist began in the late 70s, when she walked into the newspaper office to apply for a secretarial position that had been advertised.
“Rather than being a secretary, I became a reporter,” Gullickson said.
Born and raised in Hensler, Gullickson attended country school from first grade through high school. There were three or four in her graduating class, and maybe a dozen students in the whole school. After completing high school, she married Elmer Gullickson and spent her time being a farm wife and raising their five children – Sandy, Clayton, Tracy, Kim, and Marty.
Lucille and Elmer started married life on land his parents owned. When Sandy was about three years old, they bought the ranch where Lucille and two of her children – Tracy and Marty -- still live with their families. Marty has taken over the ranch work, continuing to raise Hereford cattle and hay as his parents did.
Once her children were grown, Gullickson decided to try something different – work that was off the farm. Little did she know she would be embarking on a lifetime career as a newspaperwoman.
Over the years, Gullickson reported on everything from hard news to human interest. County commission meetings, board meetings, city council meetings, storms, mines, agriculture, education -- “I did it all,” she said smiling.
Gullickson worked at home, using a typewriter to craft her stories. Her first feature -- about mining stone at Square Butte – ran on the front page in September 1978. She took over the Lookin’ Back chronicles of county history the following year, and started a “Woman of the Week” series in 1983 that featured the women of Center and Oliver County. As a reporter, she also began writing her Potpourri column, which she filed weekly until just last month.
“It was just whatever came to mind,” she said of her column. “Nothing special.”
Over the years, Potpourri was just that – a mixture of things, a medley of Gullickson’s thoughts and observations of the world around her. She expressed her opinions and feelings about activities, people, and life in general in a straight-forward manner, often adding a bit of humor or encouraging deeper thought. Through Gullickson’s prose, readers came to know the old dog, mischievous cats, and the scenery from her porch as though it was their own, while also becoming acquainted with her growing brood of grandchildren.