Today I enter my 49th year with The Daily Advocate, and to this day, I still wonder where all the time went.
How did I survive it all? There have been many changes over the years and those who know me know I don’t handle change that well but I generally persevered.
If my memory serves me well. I was hired on a Thursday and went to work the next Monday, April 24, 1967.
The day after graduating from high school in 1966 — 50 years ago — I went to work at a local factory [which really wasn’t my cup of tea — and I’m no fan of tea either] where I stayed until I was laid off in November. That lasted several weeks, but I was tired of sitting at home. Sure I was collecting unemployment, but I was bored, so I learned that a local restaurant was looking for a dish-washer, so I thought, why not? I probably made a little more on unemployment but I was getting out of the house and got to help do other little things at the restaurant besides the dishes.
I believe that was sometime in January or February 1967, and it was three months later that I learned about an opening at The Daily Advocate just down the street. I interviewed and got hired.
It is the best thing that ever happened to me, career-wise, well maybe until recently when co-worker Erik Martin informed us here the office that a new survey of the best and worst jobs in the country has declared that being a newspaper reporter is the worst career you could be pursuing. That was funny; however, I beg to differ.
I was lucky to have worked at something I loved all of these years. They weren’t all good, but that’s with any job.
It isn’t the best-paying job, or it wasn’t for me, but I loved the work and meeting people especially. I didn’t always like the controversial stories that had to be written, but I have always enjoyed the human interest features.
I started out as a proofreader and typesetter, and worked my way into the newsroom in early 1974, I believe.
Over the years, I’ve worked with countless bosses and co-workers. I wish I had the room to name all of them, but that would be impossible.
I just know there are many, many wonderful people in the Darke County area, and I feel honored to have met them and was selected to write stories about them.
One thing I regret is that I didn’t save every story I ever wrote, but if I would have, Jamie, my son, and I would have to move to a bigger home to hold all of them. I’ll just cherish the memories and hopefully my interviewees and readers will too.
Yes, I’ve made mistakes over the years, but that’s all a part of life. They were not intentional. We reporters have a lot of things on our minds, and deadlines to meet. We could be writing a story and get interrupted with maybe a phone call or someone at the counter needing our help and it’s easy to forget what we’ve already gotten accomplished. That’s my story anyway, but it’s a true one.
I think I’ve covered every community, school board and festival in the county. At one point, I was even writing sports stories as a part of cross-training. I’ve been on traffic accidents and on the scene of some fatalities. See, I told you it wasn’t all good.
It’s my hope that every young person gets the chance to find that one thing in life that makes him/her happy to go to work.
I have and I like it.
• The last of Ansonia American Legion’s regular all-you-can-eat fish fries this season is May 6.
• The Treaty City Seniors Dances will continue every Monday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Eagles Lodge on East Third Street in Greenville. Tom Everhart will entertain with his rock and roll music of the past. There will be food to purchase, soft drinks only, door prizes and a 50/50 drawing.
• April 28 to John Chrisman, Darin Whittington, Atasha Mikesell and Terri Ashby.
• April 29 to Susan Schaar, Tammy Wilcox and Karen Clack.
• April 30 to Bernie May, Cindy Horsley, John Bennett, Dr. Beth Vehre, Mark Bevins and Marietta Beane.
• May 1 to Bruce Adkins, Tiffany Black, Ashley Julian, Becky Schultz and LeAnne McClure.
• May 2 to Ruth Peters, Shawn McGuire, Marge Morse, Cody Spencer and Carol Weaver.
• May 3 to Larry Duncan, Carole Schafer and Karen Waymire Link.
Happy anniversary to Betty and John Grimes (65) and Nathan and Tanya Leeper (15), all on April 28; and Roger and Lesley Fourman on May 2.
Don’t forget to pray for: Stacy Dorko, Dick Michael, Shannon Peters Hall, Greg Whittington, George Fanning, Kenny Borger, Deanna Jones, Ray Francis, Mary Marshall, Jenson Fullerton, Judy York, Treva Hamilton, Sue Miller, Gary Reier, Carmen Sanders, Michael Allen Clark, Elmer Long, Anthony Joyner, Shirley Mead, Dave Sloan, Harry Moody, Jim Moody, Maxine Weimer, Linda Subler, Jerrod Pratt, Tim Ridenour, Shelly Hoffman, Keith Howard, Betty Grimes, Kathy Magoto, Dean Brewer, Lisa Hall, Dick Neff, Tammy Shapiro, Ken Martin, David Magoto, Phil Clark, Sonny Hunt, Jim Marker, Terry Longfellow, Don and Nina McDaniel, D’Arleen Waymire, Lee and Bea Moody (our parents), Linda Johnston, Ron Kreitzer, Pappy Harshman, Rick Jones, Delores Duncan, Frank Shapiro, John Klipstine, Elsie Svajda, Dave Sherman, Sue Chitty, Phil Chilcoat, Christine Pipenger, Paul Barton, Terry Ungericht, Gracyn Blackburn, Lowell Arnold, Robert Codling, Kohen Thwaits, William DeBord, Dave Starline, Bob Hiestand Jr.
Also, Kathy and Tom Hamilton, Joanne Sharp, Ivan Miller, Cindy Elson, Cary Van De Grift, Dina Dancer Morris, Teresa Mayo Amspaugh, Jim Crotcher, Tina Kiser Deaton, Alvera Schmitz, Tonia Thompson, Fred Monnin, Stephen “Brownie” Brown, Nate Epperson, Brad Pipenger, Faye Schlecty, Sheila Reed, Bill Beasley, Steve Cunningham, Kody Ketring, Bob and Sandy Finkbine, Kevin Dickey, Joe Martin, Tracy Bailey, Brenda Grimes, Margaret “Peg” Bundy, Kevin Hemmerich, Penny Starns, Tim Heck, Vanna (Hannam) Abbott, Addie Henderson, Barb Morrow Zimmerman, Samantha Smith, Todd Walls, Ron Kramer, Melissa “Missy” Helmer, Dana Holzapfel, Kara Didier, Carla Welch, Bill Schuette and to all those others who suffer from the many debilitating diseases.
And, God bless all of our military people serving and protecting this nation, as well as rescue, fire and law enforcement personnel who put their lives on the line to protect us.
Jamie and I send our condolences to the families of Mary Ann Heitkamp, Doris Siders Gray, Joan Gigandet, Michael Lee Crawford and Larry Howell.
Think about it: “Old roads, old dogs, old folks and old ways still have a lot to offer in this sped-up world we all live in.” — Unknown.