After 27 years writing columns and feature stories for the Transcript-Bulletin, Diane Sagers has decided it’s time to find the next challenge in her life.
Current author of “Homefront” and “Garden Spot” columns, Diane has written in several different capacities for the Transcript-Bulletin and its supplemental publications. In all, she has contributed her knowledge from a vast array of experiences.
“That’s the problem—I’m a dabbler,” she said. “I’ve got to simplify my life a little bit.”
Diane first wrote for the Transcript-Bulletin in 1968 as a high school correspondent.
“I was taking journalism in high school, and I really liked it,” she said. “So [the Transcript] asked me to do a little blurb about Tooele High and what was going on. I did that every week for a year.”
She didn’t know what she wanted to major in when she went to college at Brigham Young University, and she changed majors multiple times before she finally graduated in science and nutrition.
“But the journalism part never left me,” she said. “I did write for the BYU paper for one semester.”
The years went on, and she married the late Larry Sagers and started a family. Then, in 1987, Larry suggested to Diane that she start writing for the Transcript-Bulletin.
“I hadn’t done anything at all with [writing],” she said. “We were running a flower shop and had a million things going on. We had six kids, and the oldest one was 14, and I was busy. And then my husband said, ‘You know you really ought to write for this paper.’”
Diane originally didn’t want to do it, but Larry kept after her. Finally, she decided to start writing again.
“I was scared to death,” said Diane. “I worked up the courage to go and ask Charlie Roberts, who was the editor at that time. I didn’t sleep for two nights prior. I was a wreck over the whole thing. It was just silly now that I think about it, but at the time it was just scary as all get out.”
Her routine of getting her articles published consisted of typing them on her typewriter at home and then taking the physical copy to the Transcript-Bulletin. She then would type the article into the Transcript’s computer and bring pictures with her. She said she loves the simplicity today where she’s able to email her articles and photographs from the comforts of home.
Some of Diane’s favorite articles that she wrote include a week-by-week series on the first Mormon pioneer trek for the Utah State Sesquicentennial, Bob and Bonney Droubay’s 50th wedding anniversary with Bonney’s two sisters and spouses who were married the same day, and a feature about Harvey Russell, of Erda, who Diane called “the animal whisperer.” In all, Diane said she’s written about 4,500 articles for the Transcript-Bulletin.
But writing is more than just fun for her; Diane used writing for the Transcript as an escape as well. When Larry received treatments for his mesothelioma in Salt Lake City, Diane took her laptop with her to write columns. And during the past year after Larry died in Nov. 2012, writing those columns has been one of many things she’s done to cope.
Diane said the last year of her life since Larry died has been different than how she imagined it.
“When he got sick, I felt like I was standing over a black hole and being sucked into it,” she said. “And I just couldn’t see how I could go on. I miss him every day of my life, but I am really happy. Life is good. My kids are close by—my grandkids, friends. I’m finding out that I’m OK. I have a lot of things I can do with my life, and I’m enjoying it. That’s part of the reason I was able to make this decision to leave [writing for the Transcript] behind. I’m ready to start on something else. It’s been tough, but it hasn’t been tough. I don’t know; it’s a strange thing, because I found out you can be sad and happy at the very same time.”
She said it’s strange because she can be going along feeling happy, but then suddenly sadness will hit her. Sometimes it lasts for 20 minutes, and sometimes a little longer.
“It’s been nothing like I anticipated,” she said. “It’s been good. I’ve had a lot of good friends and a lot of people who have been caring.”
What also surprised Diane was her desire to keep up on her garden.
“I kind of thought I might not want to do it anymore, but it’s soothing,” she said.
Diane has plenty of things she’ll continue doing, such as garden tours, traveling and writing for the quarterly horticulture magazine ArborEssence (for which she is editor), but she’s excited to finally work on family history.
“It’s been calling to me for a long time,” she said. “I’ve been neglecting it. Everybody thinks I’m doing it, so they keep sending me all this stuff. So it’s time to get with the program and make something out of it.”
Diane said she feels like this is the perfect time to try something new.
“I’ve got the energy. My mind is still reasonably good, I think,” she said. “A lot of things can change for me in the next few years, and I just as soon get things done that I want to do and do them now.”