She is still scratching and is still itching to find more stories.
So when she left the newspaper during the city's 150th year, she was looking for an avenue to keep penning the rich history of the region. "I didn't want anymore oil wells on hillside stories," she said.
At the library she found a partner in crime, someone also eager dig up the dirt and fun stuff that makes the area rich in tradition and notoriety.
Together with Kay Dawson, a retired school teacher, the two comb through the Oil Heritage Society archives, old newspapers and historical collections to seek the wonderful, quirky bits of the Oil Region.
As they research, they find more and more interesting tidbits to share. They get off track with the little tidbits, the off-shoots and the extra things that they need to often refocus on what they were initially researching. "We go down some rabbit holes," Etzel admits as they find so many little interesting nuggets.
They start, generally, with a photo. Finding an old black and white of elephants bathing in the Allegheny River requires some hard investigation.
Why the heck were they there? Then they tell us.
And did you know if it wasn't for the Oil boom the Tin Man from the "Wizard of Oz" might never have come to be? Had the author's father not moved to these parts, drilled for oil, help form the town of Plumer and create an affluent family business, L. Frank Baum might not have envisioned a tin can man with a funnel hat who always needed lubricants as one of Dorothy's best friends.
These are the little things that get Etzel and Dawson excited.
The three meet in the upstairs of the Oil City Library to create issue after issue of this gem. Sometimes not adhering to the library's "ssshhh" policy, they have a lot of laughs and fun together.
According to library director Dan Flaherty, the newsletter is generating a lot of visitors to the website and to the library. He said people stop by asking for physical copies. Sometimes people who have never been in the library before or haven't been in years.
Items that draw even more attention are photos of people and places readers remember. Etzel even marveled at a photo showing her late husband as a very young man.
Without this effort, the pictures and stories would likely sit in dark drawers, forgotten mostly. Having a gifted wordsmith like Etzel (who is still seeking a way to use the word "feckless" after a challenge from an old editor years and years ago), a consummate researcher like Dawson and teamed with a young tech-savvy Venango County lifer like Cubbon, the stories are coming alive and people are taking notice.
The articles, which began circulating in June, are posted on the Oil Region Library website. Printed copies are available as funding allows. Flaherty said donations are helpful to defray the printing costs, but given the popularity of the newsletter, he's also looking into other ways to handle the printing expenses.
The trio behind the newsletter see it as an important education tool for those who live in and around Oil City, whether the reader is a recent transplant or a lifelong resident.
"People ought to know where they grew up," Etzel said.
But even more than that, it's a labor of love for retired Dawson and ageless Etzel, who join Cubbon a few times a month to delight in finding new quirky tales and falling into the rabbit hole.
Note: Etzel still hasn't been able to find a way to sneak feckless into a story. Maybe when she tells the story of Stonehouse Jack?