End of an Era

Scott Guptill
Monday, May 18, 2020

Janet F. Guptill started in the newspaper business in July 1970 with the Jordan Tribune under editor/owner Aubrey Larson. She went on to start the 411 magazine for Mid-Rivers Telephone Co-operative as its editor. She then went on to run the Prairie Breeze Shopper with Aubrey Larson in 1982-1984. Later she began the Tradewind Shoppers as owner/publisher/editor. In August of 1990, with the outbreak of war with Iraq, she started the Garfield County’s very own local paper. At a later date, she purchased the name of the Jordan Tribune from the Larsons. She owned/ran the Tribune until her stroke. 50 years of news. I did not look up all the dates, which if my mother knew, I’d be in trouble. All I can say is it has been a bit busy around here.

Janet’s span of selling advertisements to Southeastern Montana lasted 36 years, during which time brought many changes to various industries in the area.

She loved hearing what you, her customers, had to say about prices, conditions, technical issues, political views and much more.

She called a lot of you enough that she considered you friends, although she may have never met you in person. She followed her customers and friends from year to year.

She seldom missed a chance to learn about what affected you, what your family did. Often she knew about other family members from her calls.

She shared her time doing more than selling ads. There were times she spent consoling a grieving family member about a lossed one, listening to their stories of pain, being handed off to the next generation. There were the times of triumph when family members succeeded at different endeavours, be they a graduate, an athlete, successful in business ventures, a particular animal they raised. She followed the stories of the families from births, marriages, divorces and deaths. She listened to you as well. As well as she sold to you.

You may have never bought an ad from her but she called anyway, figuring you might need her service now or down the road, and to see how you were doing. If she got lucky, you might buy an ad.

As mentioned earlier, Mom has had a stroke. We are told she will need 24/7 care. Please pray for her recovery. Things are in a state of flux. We don’t know where they will windup.

But this is probably the last time, you will be able to:

Say you saw it in the Tradewind.

(Scott Guptill is son of Janet Guptill and an employee of the Tradewind.)