Life’s Reflections: Remembering the good old days in journalism

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This writer does not enjoy having her photo taken but someone got a shot of her interviewing a couple of men from Bradford. I am thinking it was a fire-department recognition event. Don't ask what year; can't remember. (Photographer unknown)
My County Link’s Editor/Co-owner, Gaylen Blosser, might be sorry he suggested I write about the “good old days” in journalism or something to that effect.
I stopped in at the office to talk to him the other day, and we were discussing how he covers so many events…not only sports but other extra assignments when no one else is available.
His work ethic amazes me, and kind of reminds me of my days when I was working full-time.

One of my purposes for going in that day was to get his permission to write a story, which I thought would entail sports, and I didn’t want to do it if he was planning on it.

He said it would be all right with him if I did it, and he asked me if I had ever covered a sporting event.

“Yes, I have,” I told him.
Then, I proceeded to tell him some things about my “athletic” writing
experience, and he said I should write about it. That did it. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it.
At one point in time during my journalistic career, the publisher at the time thought we reporters should cross-train so we would, I guess, learn each other’s jobs.
That’s when I learned how to do work in the darkroom and my most challenging thing: write sports stories. I did, but I’m not sure if they were good or not. I don’t remember getting any feedback.
I know I was assigned to cover at least one football game in Ansonia, plus several basketball games, and if I remember correctly, I covered a Versailles team a couple of times in Tipp City and at least one in Ansonia.

I even got to interview a coach after the rules were changed so that the female reporters could go into the locker rooms. I think that took place at Ansonia, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. But I wouldn’t want to do it all of the time. At least it wasn’t embarrassing.

As I began to consider Gaylen’s request for me to write about my experiences, it spurred me to think even further on all of my assignments.

In my day, I was a busy reporter and loved what I was doing, except maybe for controversial coverages, which I’ve done. But I’d rather have the “feel good” articles.
Here goes: I am sure I have covered each town council meeting in the county at least once and quite a bit at Ansonia, Union City, and Versailles. I also went to quite a few school board meetings all over and have been to a few township trustees meetings when problems arose on their agendas.
I’ve been to about every church in Darke County and, at one time, knew most of the pastors. I especially recalled when I interviewed the Rev. Don Myers when he came to town and wrote another story on him 25 years later when he retired.
Over the years, I have covered all of the festivals in each of the towns, especially the Great Darke County Fair (of which I only missed one). I have also covered the festivals, some of which are now defunct, in Union City, Rossburg, Gettysburg, Pitsburg, Hollansburg, North Star, Versailles (Poultry Days), Rossburg, New Weston and Bradford, not to mention Annie Oakley Days. Jamie reminded me that I was the 2012 grand marshal for the parade, and he rode with me along the route. I was honored.
Jamie and I are pictured on the front row of an Ansonia graduation ceremony. Why were we there I don’t remember but apparently I was covering something. Besides I didn’t have any other photos to share of myself at work. (Photographer unknown)

I covered numerous banquets and numerous school events across the county and, for many years, introduced the first baby born in a new year at Wayne Hospital, now known as Wayne HealthCare.

I’ve done countless stories over the years and remember the coverage I did of such catastrophic events as the Arcanum tornado, the blizzard of 1978, and a few traffic and farm fatalities.
So, yes, life was a busy experience in my younger days. It makes me feel like such a slacker now, but I feel like I’ve been there and done that. No wonder I have aches and pains in my legs and joints.
Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have traded my career for the world because of the many, many friends I’ve made over the years, and I still stay in touch with some of them. I love it when people come up to me, and we can reminisce and catch up with one another’s life now.
And it was time to slow down a bit. I am sure I probably wouldn’t turn down a great story idea, especially if it helps readers to understand others’ issues.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I’m doing now in semi-retirement and working from home.

Human interest stories are my favorite, just like sports are to Gaylen. I am glad he and I had that conversation. He’s only a year younger than me, and I envy his go-getter-ness (if that is a word).

I bet Gaylen won’t ask me to do this again, but I’m glad he did. At this point in life, I enjoyed reminiscing even though I’ve probably left a lot of things out.
Thanks for the memories, Gaylen.
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Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families and friends of Pete Trocano, Bill Collins, Frank Flory, Randy Starks, Betty Hittle, Nancy Shade-Meeds, Chester, “C.J.” Hocker, Donnie Baker, Steve Didier, Linda Subler, Ed Minnich, Carol Ball, William  Alexander, Richard Sommer, Delorse Mote, and Patricia Haines.

*****  

Please pray for these people: Kara Didier, Cindy Lovejoy, Carl Francis, Janet and Troy Kammer, Slug Midlam, Bob Peters, Phyllis Brumbaugh, Sonny Custer, D’Arleen Waymire, Judy Collins, Linda Gasper, Carol Hemmerich, Stephanie Klingshirn, Alice Knick, Brenda Schlechty, Dennis and Theresa Wein, Betty Burnfield, Dan Lockhart, Roberta Hall, Pam Norman-Penticuff, Kelly Kelch, Mike Mayse, Greg Moody, Kelly Jo Eikenberry (kidney transplant) and son Allen (donor), Larry Linder, Steve Waymire, Jamie Knick, Nikole Baldridge, Chester Bryant, Lester Beisner, Delores Beisner, Kermit Foureman, Chuck “C.W.” Cruze, Mark Lovejoy.
Also, Judy York, Donald Booker, Dennis Leeper, Connie Stachler, Randy Heck, Ronnie Norton, Jeremy “Jerm” Burke, Gary Eichler, David Pretzman, Clinton Randall, Ralph Byrd, Doug Winger, Sonja and Dan Coppess, Bruce Kaiser, Amanda Mote, Gary Francis, Paul Gigandet, Doug Whittington, Tracy Pratt,  Zach Urbancic, John Rimmer, Joan Keen, Larry P. Fitzwater, Jim Thomas, Neal Gray, Judie Hathaway, Randy Garrison, Jannie Barrow, Kathy Gragorace, Becky Everhart, Donna Bixler, Linda Subler, Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses.
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Happy birthday:
Jan. 19 to Crystal Mead Rediger, Nicole Fenton, Kelly Mechhofer, Jeff Minnich and Deb Crist.
Jan. 20 to Judie Hathaway, Josh Riffell, Karen Smith Brown Fiste, Ellen Hetzler, Alexa Hetzler, David Kress, Bud House and Taylor Hammaker.  
Jan. 21 to Connie Hodson, Junior Bryant, Tina Lyme, Cindy Shuttleworth, Denise Huff, and Jennifer Brown Trittschuh.
Jan. 22 to Tammy Mendenhall, Greg Moody, Jim Holland, Diane Delaplane, Mindy Saylor and Ryan Francis.
Jan. 23 to Missy Hall Guillozet, Dixie Whittaker, and Tyler Greer.
Jan. 24 to Mindi Bowers Schaefer, Rick Lee, and Toni Midlam.  
Jan. 25 to Teresa Ketring, Kirk Harbison, Ken DeMange, and Thomas Holden.
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Think about it: “Sometimes the less you talk, the more you are listened to.” — Author Unknown