Keta Steebs is one of those unforgettable people. I know.
This is not the first blog entry for Steebs, and it will not be the last. But this one makes the point that she is truly remarkable.
A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee journalism student who interviewed Keta Steebs said Friday he can only hope to have the legacy and integrity that she has had over a career.
Steebs, who has chronicled life in Door County for the Advocate for more than 40 years, was one of seven Wisconsin journalists inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club Media Hall of Fame during a banquet at the Potawatomi Casino’s Woodland Dreams Ballroom.
Steebs, 87, charmed the audience of more than 150 with her short speech packed with her trademark wry wit, opening with a phrase she attributed to “Abraham Lincoln, our 18th president,” pausing and then adding, “I need to see how many of you are listening.”
She noted she was born “four score and seven years ago” as a “bounding baby 12-pound girl, whom the doctor, Dr. Libby (no relation to the frozen food people) said would go far someday – ‘With a mouth like that she’ll make herself heard.’”
Joining the Door County Advocate in 1969 launched a career as a reporter and columnist acknowledged earlier this year, when a panel of local historians chose Steebs as “one of 150 who shaped Door County” as part of the Advocate’s 150th anniversary edition. The Wisconsin Newspaper Association has also honored her more than once as local columnist of the year.
Not bad for someone whose Aunt Helen insisted would never amount to anything – although that assessment would end with “sort of an O. Henry twist” to it.
“My aunt died literally laughing at something I had written,” Steebs deadpanned. “My cousin Doris told me, ‘That pleases me no end.’”