District will miss Milt

A longtime writer for both the Fort Frances Times and Rainy River Record passed away this past weekend. For as long as I can remember, Milt Guba would wander through the doors of the newspaper each Monday with his stories of the district.
When he worked for the CN, Milt would arrive just after his night shift ended with copy in hand. Later, when he retired, his arrival would be a little later, but always early on a Monday.
One wondered, after he retired, how he had ever found time to work for the CN while he attended so many community functions.
Milt always had his own writing style, and more than one editor grew bald as they worked through his rough copy on that same afternoon that he came in.
Milt always had the story—the problem often came uncovering what the story was. And sometimes between himself and the editor, the story didn’t come out the same.
In his flowery writing, Milt often could go on for several lines without a period, comma, or any grammatical point. The sentence paragraphs often would cover several thoughts and ideas that ran on together.
The editor’s frown at the beginning of editing was replaced with a bright smile when the job was complete. Milt was prolific, and editing Milt always took an afternoon.
Milt covered everything in the Emo and community. He loved fastball, and for many years umpired games. The aftermath of the game would appear in his columns in both the district papers.
Sundays would find Milt scrambling to get in all the news from all the churches in his community.
He was a busy man. Store openings, births, family visits, and community events were covered by Milt for almost four complete decades.
Milt tried to embrace technology. His copy, for instance, always arrived type-written. When all the other district correspondents in the 1960s wrote their copy long hand, Milt used a typewriter and was ahead in technology.
He moved from a “Kodak Brownie” camera to a Polaroid and eventually to a 35mm camera. I suspect that given enough time, he eventually would have been challenged by a digital camera, although he cursed computers and refused to ever consider using one.
After writing for the Fort Frances Times for more than a quarter-of-a-century, Milt was recognized by the Canadian Community Newspaper Association with a Bronze Quill—a symbol of achievement for his work and community involvement.
The stories in the Country section were almost his most important. About every other year, Milt would threaten to quit. I would hear him come in, a little bit angry or frustrated, demanding to speak to “Jimmy” as he had begun to know me in my teens (the rest of the time, I was called Jim).
When he arrived on those occasions, it usually was about a story he felt was more important than the one we had placed in the paper.
During his lifetime, Milt worked at boosting the community he lived in and the people he knew and loved and wrote about. He has left his mark.

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