He was Advocate's MacGyver a decade before TV show

June 27, 2014

Image Charles Kulow, second from right, stands with, from left, Victoria Advocate owners Kay McHaney and John Roberts and publisher Dan Easton.

Victoria Advocate operations manager Charles Kulow started at the newspaper the same year Richard Nixon resigned as president amid the Watergate scandal.

Also that year, Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Tne cost of a first-class stamp rose from 8 to 10 cents. And People magazine made its debut with Mia Farrow on the cover.

Yes, a lot has changed in four decades, but Kulow has been a constant at the Advocate. He has risen through the ranks from part-time to full-time pressman, to assistant foreman, to assistant production manager, to production manager, and now to operations director.

Few realize how much it takes behind the scenes to produce a newspaper 365 days a year. There's precious little down time for maintenance and repairs on equipment. Kulow and his team have to coax every piece of machinery into doing a little bit more than it should. He was MacGyver about 11 years before the TV show first aired.

We celebrated longtime Advocate employees at a special lunch Friday. Kulow topped the list at 40 years, but we honored 16 others representing a total of 252 years at the Advocate. That's a remarkable achievement we're proud of as a community newspaper. After all, our people make your Advocate possible. They are the heart and soul of our daily miracle.

Kulow is a terrific example of this. Along with making our presses roll every night, he volunteers in a variety of ways in the community, particularly in emergency preparedness and with the Victoria civilian police academy.

I've told him several times I plan to be by his side if we ever have to deal again with a hurricane. He'll keep the presses rolling and everyone around him safe. He's as unflappable as a bulldog sprawled out on the porch after a meal.

All of the honored Advocate employees picked out a gift to mark their work anniversary. It's no surprise Kulow chose a Briggs & Stratton portable generator.


Advocate employees honored Friday were, front row from left, Angeli Wright (3 years), Delana Jaeger (20), Manuel Zamora (30), Terry Solis (15), Christine Bazan (5), Olivia Garza (30), Lisa Trevino (20) and Ronald Higdon (25); and, back row from left, Tony Vasquez (3), Dayna Wiles (5), Karen Horvath (15), Jason Holmes (3), Charles Kulow (40), Christina Pesina (5) and Tony Balandran (3). Not pictured is Robbi Patterson (25).