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Probe: May 16, 2001

May 16, 2001

QUESTION: If you see Ben Johnston, the former Imperial Valley Press managing editor, tell him I would love to see him again. Maybe we could all visit Merry Baxter Harris. — J.B., El Centro

If Johnston does stop by the office again before he heads back to North Carolina, we will give him your phone number so he can give you a call.

Our 100th birthday at this newspaper has surely stirred up a lot of memories. We haven't done this much "catching up" on old friends since our 50th high school class reunion.

From out of the shadowy past came the grandson of this newspaper's first managing editor, H.C. Reed.

After writing countless feature stories about our history and dealing with Reed in two sentences because that's all we knew, now we know he survived until 50 years ago. He died the year the class of 1950 picked up its high school diplomas.

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Longtime readers might guess that J.B. is Jeanette Pardue Buckley. When we started working for this newspaper in 1965, Jeanette was working on the news desk.

We started late and Jeanette started early.

Jeanette has always kept up with the many reporters who came and left this newspaper. She keeps up with Richard Lucy via the telephone and e-mail. He works for the state of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Last year when there was a terrible ice storm in Little Rock, Lucy was marooned in his house for seven days without heat or power.

Although none of us has been able to officially confirm it, Lucy told Jeanette he heard from John Nunes, another former I.V. Press reporter, that Frank Aborn, a former news editor, died several years ago.

Christine Koziel, who left this newspaper to go to the San Diego Union, spent some time in Australia, then Hawaii and is now living in Chicago where she's taking care of her elderly parents.

A LEGAL HALIBUT — The halibut I caught off the coast of San Diego was legal. When I pulled it in the deck hands measured it! — Fisherman, Brawley

And it was edible, according to the San Diego fisherman who told us the skinny worms often found in halibut won't hurt you.

The worms are about as thick as a strand of hair. Once cooked, they are just protein.

That's what he said, but we would have trouble eating a fish parasite, or the fish, if we knew about the worm.

You said the fish was 20 inches long. The San Diego man said a halibut must be at least 22 inches to be a legal keeper.

We guess it doesn't matter, since you didn't get caught and you threw away the evidence.

NO STREET LIGHT — Our street has no street light. I called Brawley public works and it promised the light would be installed in a couple of weeks.

When we still had no light, I called public works again. It promised me the light would be working by Cattle Call in November. There is still no light. Why? — In-the-dark, Brawley

You didn't tell us where you live. Nevertheless, city Public Works Director Manuel Aceves said he thinks he knows the area.

If he's right, he said, your pole was replaced eight months ago. He didn't rule out that a bulb may be burned out. He promised to check after dark to make sure.

If you are still in the dark, call us again and give us the location of your dark street.

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