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Letter -- Aleene B. MacMinn

February 12, 2002

I was 18 years old and a freshman at Glendale College when Betty

Preston hired me as a reporter for her women's staff at the Glendale

News-Press.

The offer came out of the blue and was both unexpected and flattering

-- also a little scary, since my only journalism "experience" had been on

student publications at Hoover High School.

I soon found no cause to fret. Betty was warm, kind, friendly, helpful

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and most of all, very understanding. She became not only a mentor and a

teacher, but also a true friend.

When I transferred from Glendale College to USC, she willingly

adjusted my hours so I could continue working at the News-Press while

commuting to USC. She shared my family's pride when awards and honors

happened to come my way.

I graduated from USC with a degree in journalism and four years of

professional experience. The latter was possible because of Betty's

cooperation, inspiration and influence on my life. With both a degree and

four years of on-the-job- training (again, thanks to Betty), I went on to

a 40-year career with the Los Angeles Times.

She might have been from Michigan originally, but she cared deeply

about this community, about her work at the News-Press and Foothill

Leader and about her family and friends.

She touched many lives, and I wanted to note my own personal

experience as an example of how Betty Preston lived her own life --

helping and caring about others.

Thanks, my dear friend.

ALEENE BARNES MacMINN

Glendale

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