Theresa Schmidt celebrates her 39th anniversary at KPLC today, April 12.
And she has no plans of slowing down.
"I've done this for so long. I really hope I can keep on being productive and telling stories that are worthwhile and help people. I'd like to work until I'm 70. Is that crazy or what?" she said.
After graduating from the University of Missouri, Schmidt moved to Southwest Louisiana. She started at KPLC in 1978.
"Lake Charles was the first offer I got. So, I packed up all my meager belongings and drove all the way down (here)," Schmidt said.
When she arrived at the station in 1978, the newsroom was located in a former gas station, and a computer was nowhere to be found.
"When I first came here, we only had land lines," she said. "We used typewriters when I first got here. In fact, when I first got here, we had a couple of manual typewriters. Then, as far as shooting and editing video, when I first got here, we were still using some film."
Schmidt would later meet and marry Hector San Miguel, a reporter at the American Press newspaper, in 1986. She said she and Hector, who died in 2009, had a special understanding.
"We did not discuss things that we were working on, but I could always tell when he had some big scoop. It would really make me nervous, because I absolutely hate to get scooped. I would always tell him that it better not be on my beat or it'll be a really cold month," she said.
Schmidt never meets a stranger, and she's known for her sense of humor and her strong will to speak her mind.
"There have been plenty of times when a 30-minute trip to the grocery store winds up taking three hours, but you know, that's just me. I love people," she said.
Over the years, Schmidt said she's always preferred reporting on issues that affect people.
"I really enjoy going out in the field and meeting all the different people. One of my personal sayings is 'Always be a blessing; never be a curse.' To me, one of the most fulfilling parts of the job is being able to help someone who needs help or give a voice to someone who doesn't have a voice," she said. "I really feel fulfilled when I think I've done a story that has helped somebody or given them a voice to someone who doesn't have a voice or helped right a wrong or maybe in some small way helped someone feel they have achieved justice."
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For more on Schmidt's career, click HERE.