Hilsendager relives long drives over to Sonoma
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By Irene Hilsendager  February 7, 2014 12:00 am

Way back in January of 1993, while working at the Argus Courier in Petaluma, I heard through the grapevine that a new newspaper was coming to Rohnert Park. This was especially interesting, as the Clarion (working there at the time) had closed down a couple of months before.

In February, I introduced myself to Mr. Yatin Shah and started working for The Community Voice the following week. 

The paper was printed in Sonoma, and I had to make several trips on Wednesdays to get enough papers in my car to distribute to the countryside so that the new paper would get exposure.

The best part was driving up Lichau Road early in the mornings when it was misty and the sun trying to shine through. The deer, ‘coons, foxes and squirrels loved to sit on the same road that I was traveling. I would often wonder if the squirrels would be doing their high-5s after I had passed. 

The C.V. office was in a small space where now Mojica’s Insurance is located. It was then moved to Professional Center Drive next to the railroad tracks. 

Besides waving to the train engineers, we would watch the jackrabbits hop across the fields. 

In 2000, the newspaper was moved back to Sonoma, and the papers were sent out by mail for several years. 

When it was decided to bring the editorial department back to Rohnert Park, a small room was rented from Jimmie Rogers at the DoubleTree Plaza for three months. 

At the same time I also worked for J & M Manufacturing during the day and for the Voice in the evenings. Another move was eminent as the prior office was too small to hold a couple of people and therefore ended up in a “cracker box” office in the 5600 block of State Farm.  

The newspaper stayed there until Shah bought it from the Lynch family in 2003. 

The office was so small, only two desks fit into the room. Of course, only one or two people were in at the same time. Not too long after that The Community Voice moved to Penngrove and it was a pleasure to be only five minutes from my front door. 

In 2005, another move came about and the paper moved into its present location at 101 Professional Center Dr. 

In 2007, I retired from The Voice and went on to do other things. 

I still stay in touch with some carriers from 1995 (actually had 63 carriers) and also the delivery drivers. 

Working for the C.V. brought me back to my journalistic roots and has forced me to still write, and I’m working to finish my novel.

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