I’m delighted to welcome new author Annette Goggin to Home Row. But before I give her the floor, I want to say a few things. (Are you surprised?)
For most of my 27-plus years at the New Castle Courier-Times, I have heard Annette's name. I knew only that she wrote on occasion for the newspaper, and that she taught English at New Castle High School.
We recognized each other a year or two ago in passing at the Monday night Bible Study Fellowship in Middletown, but with a tight schedule and not being in each other’s small group among the hundreds of women there, we didn’t have a chance to chat. But the sighting put us on each other’s radar.
It is one of my unexpected joys of 2016 that I have gotten to know Annette, and we hit it off. Through our mutual friend Sandy Moore, who published a children’s book this year, Sadie’s Search for Home, I learned that Annette was writing her own book, and that she blogged, sharing some of her life stories that would become Home: Three Houses.
So I friended Annette on Facebook and began looking in on her blog posts that deal with three important areas of her life: farmhouse, school house and church house.
Annette started treating me as a friend. “Hey, would you and Sandy want to go to a writing conference with me?” she asked.
Another time Annette asked if she could pick my brain with some book questions over lunch. This fall, she asked if she could attend one of my programs to see how I do what I do in preparation for the release of her book. She came, shadowed me, and then we went to lunch to talk some more.
Occasionally Annette will email with a question or opinion on how I handle something.
I don’t know that I have told her, so I will tell her and you at the same time: I am honored by Annette asking me for advice and seeking out a writing friendship.
I greatly admire English teachers and count among them a best friend in Gay Kirkton and a sister-in-law Linda Cronk, and a book editor Steve Dicken. I can think of a bunch more influential English teachers in my life but I’ll leave it there for now.
Here is something about which I’m super excited. Annette and Sandy, who are both members of Foursquare Gospel Church, 3200 S. 14th St., New Castle, Indiana, have invited me to join them at a book signing there from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. We'll all three have plenty of books and be delighted to sell, sign and visit with anyone who cares to drop by.
Meanwhile, here’s Annette.
The flip side of failure
By Annette Goggin
In his poem “Don’t Quit,” Edgar Guest said, “Success is failure turned inside out.” My book, Home: Three Houses, proves him right.
In September 2015, I applied for a teacher creativity fellowship grant worth several thousand dollars. If my proposal were chosen, this money would fund my attendance at writing conferences and pay for the publication of my book.
The process of applying for the grant forced me to define my dream of writing a book, decide what it would be about, and hone in on how it would be organized.
By the time I had submitted the grant proposal, a writing recipe that had been on the back burner of my mind for years had been moved to the front burner, and it was hot.
In January 2016, I received the bad news that I had not been chosen as a grant recipient. Failure.
That failure turned inside out when my passion to write the book eclipsed that setback. I “inside-outed” that failure and wrote the book anyway. Home: Three Houses is a series of stand-alone true stories that give a refreshing glimpse into the goodness of people and of God.
Readers will relax, crack a smile, and laugh.
Author Annette Goggin is a long-time English teacher at New Castle High School, where she continues to teach classes in AP English and grammar. Home: Three Houses is her first book, which came out just before Christmas. For a copy or information about booking her for a program or signing, email Annette at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can’t leave behind our trip to Minneapolis without a post about The News Room.
This is the most unique restaurant I’ve ever visited. It was a couple of blocks from The Hyatt Regency, where we stayed and we had to pass it on our walk to the light rail line.
Our little crew humored me and agreed we needed to enjoy a meal there. Meanwhile, Brian and I speculated on the restaurant’s roots. We guessed that it was surely once the site of a real newspaper, reinvented as a restaurant.
The top of the building has a newsboy and the restaurant's name wraps in a striking fashion. I wondered if the interior would contain décor somehow representing the newspaper industry. Or if the menu offerings would boast clever print-journalism terms for the offerings.
As soon as we walked through the front door for an early lunch, I was in awe! Copies of newspapers were framed and also upsized into wallcoverings throughout the restaurant with screaming headlines of the top news stories of the past century.
Theme areas included sports, hard news and entertainment. Coordinating newspapers appeared in those areas. For example, the bar area had an enlarged newspaper headline and story announcing the end of prohibition. The ladies room’s dominant headline and story is from Variety proclaiming that “Women get the vote.”
Overhead were a variety of TVs with live news and sports programs, providing a current news feed overlaying the historic print ones.
We learned that the building itself has nothing to do with a real newspaper. The one-of-a-kind restaurant was simply the creative concept of the owner and it’s been around for a dozen years in the heart of downtown Minneapolis at 990 Nicollet Mall at 10th Street.
Even though I wandered around and took photos and asked questions of the good-natured staff (having ink in my blood and all) my dining partners were there for a meal, not a habitat experience, so we ordered and enjoyed our food.
I had a California turkey and avocado panini. The guys had clubs. I’m drawing a blank on what Allison had but we all agreed it was a great stop on our journey. We ordered from menus designed to look like late-breaking Extra! editions.
The server said sometimes people call The News Room with news tips. We didn’t have a news tip but we left her a nice one.
Answer this without thinking. What is your most memorable Christmas gift?
When I see that question, the first thing that comes to mind is a stick of deodorant.
The year was 1981 and we were invited to a staff Christmas party for my husband’s school co-workers. We had moved to that west-central Indiana community the summer before, and while the job came with a raise, there were financial setbacks on the other side of the balance sheet. I no longer brought in a paycheck because with the move, the plan was for me to go to college full time, year-round, until I had a journalism degree. That meant college fees and gas to get there.
Not only that, but we left behind in Richmond a mobile home on which we were making payments, plus lot rent, as we had been unable to sell it. To make it even harder, the trailer park wouldn’t let us put out a for sale sign.
We were making it. But things were tight. So tight, in fact, that the idea of buying the gag gift for the party seemed too much to ask. So I scrounged around and wrapped up some odd thing that we had around the house. Surely, we would get in exchange some equally odd thing from someone else’s house.
Instead, our gag gift was a new stick of brand-name deodorant. The person who brought it had obviously paid for it, and it was nice and useful. This meant one less item on our personal shopping list. I remember this because now it seems comical, the look on our faces, as though we had won a lottery.
Had anyone been watching our reactions, that person would surely be confused by our inappropriate glee.
We told this story to a friend who is a couple decades older. She has a similar story that involves the Christmas her husband bought her a potato masher. The circumstances were different but the sentiment the same. They were young, and broke, and the present was a bright spot.
I suppose there are a number of morals to these stories: That living within your means is superior to buying or receiving gifts that break your budget. That delayed gratification is better than trying to grab it before its time — and then feel sick about the bills later. That at best, material gifts bring only temporary happiness. Or how sometimes shiny new presents only mean a trip to the store the day after Christmas to stand in line and return them.
But also, stories such as the gag gift and the potato masher bring to mind special memories of a place and a time, of making do but not minding because you are with the ones you love.
I’ve got 58 Christmases under my belt, but it would take me a while to remember many of the gifts, lovely though they have been, that have been under our trees. Yet that deodorant stick always comes to mind this time of year. And I smile with the memory.
This column appeared Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016 in the New Castle, Indiana Courier-Times where Donna Cronk is Neighbors Editor as well as editor of the quarterly her magazine for women.
What happens when the worst ice storm in years is timed with a trip to the airport for a weekend getaway? And when we try hard to get there but it takes almost three hours instead of one, and it’s nothing but white knuckles and spun-out vehicles along the way?
For starters, we miss our flight.
Think National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Think Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
That was us over the weekend. The trip had been scripted and paid for since summer when our family decided that instead of our usual gift format for Christmas, we’d do a weekend to see our Colts play the Minnesota Vikings. After all, it was an easy, direct flight and there was plenty to do including the Mall of America, a vibrant downtown, and a foodie's paradise.
What could go wrong?
Maybe Sam was prophetic when on the scorching-hot day that we put the trip together, he chirped, “I hope it’s 40 below!”
Well, it wasn’t that bad. Game day was only 19 below. It just felt like minus 40.
But who could have guessed that the real weather story wasn’t in Minneapolis. It was in Indianapolis! Little did we know when we got up at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, ice had replaced the predicted rain. Central Indiana was an ice-skating rink. Our daughter-in-law Allison called with the alert.
We quickly decided to meet up at the airport to speed things along and hope that we could all still make the flight. It didn’t happen.
All later flights to the Twin Cities were full. Brian scanned his cellphone to find a single possibility via air: he plugged in 4 seats one way and the cost came in at $1,100. The airport was madness. We didn’t want to scrap the trip. The seats would probably go fast. We still had our prepaid return flights. What would you do?
Our answer came when Brian realized that the figure wasn’t a total for four but $1,100 apiece! The seats must have been on Air Force One with the Lincoln Bedroom thrown in. We’re Cronks, not Trumps or Clintons, so we passed on the extra $4,400.
Totally bummed, we sat downstairs away from the upstairs insanity as we waited on the kids to arrive. Across from us was the Avis rental-car counter. Half sarcastic and half hopeful I said, “Well, we could drive it.”
“Oh, no, we’re not doing that,” Brian said, pausing, calculating. I could see his wheels turning. “We could though.”
I went over to check out the cost. “Do you realize what the weather is like out there right now?” the clerk inquired. We had a rough idea.
While we chatted, Brian got a text from Allison: We could drive it.
Her text was the confirmation we needed. Road trip! Why yes, we are crazy.
The radar showed the farther northwest we would get, the better the road conditions – at least as far as ice goes. As the morning went on, things would surely improve, anyway as the temperature hovered at 32 degrees. We hit the road and Brian promised a breakfast stop in Lafayette. Four hours later, it was a late lunch there instead. The four of us voted whether to continue or scrap the trip.
The landslide vote was to continue, stopping for a few supplies in case we ended up stuck for hours somewhere. Allison and I gathered granola bars and water. Gee, I wonder what tips the Donner Party might offer in that moment. Never mind.
Onward we rolled into the dark, finally arriving at the Minneapolis / St. Paul airport to return the rental and hit the city rail system to our downtown digs. It was 15 hours later than we had planned but we were there! Thank you Jesus!
The Hyatt was supposed to be “not that far” from the rail stop. That's city-speak for a crisp hike, a good mile at midnight in a downtown setting where we’d never been before. Brian quickly learned something about my packing skills as he pulled our large suitcase.
“What do you have in there?” he asked later when his jaw thawed. “It has the density of a meteorite.”
Believe it or not, we ended up having a great weekend with our kids, seeing the Colts play possibly their best game of the season, and experiencing a city full of friendly, interesting Minneapolis folks, dining in restaurants of national renown, laughing at the situation, making memories.
It was indeed a weekend we’ll always treasure.
Minneapolis is a cool city. Good thing that's true in more ways than one.
There’s snow on the ground, the tree is lit, the house is dressed all cozy for Christmas, and I have some thank yous in order for this TGIF-edition of Home Row.
First up. Thank you to Brian’s brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Linda Cronk, for hosting him at their winter digs in Sanibel Island, Florida, for a week. It was a great va-cay for him as he enjoys few things more than guy time with his brother where they laugh and carry on the way brothers do. Thanks for putting up with them, Linda.
I am so glad he got to do this again this year.
While I take a ton of photos for both work and pleasure, and enjoy posting them on social media, not everyone is a camera hog the way I am. So we’ll be lucky if Brian lets me keep the post alive with this picture. But I happen to think the bros look pretty darned cute out there in the Everglades on one of those air boats. Looks like fun too.
Mail call brought a surprise this week, one in which I need to issue another special thank you.
My thank you goes to retired Fountain Central Junior-Senior High School teacher Lynnette McMahan of Covington who worked for years with Brian. She attended one of my programs last summer.
This week she sent me a "self-portrait" by Mary Higgins Clark, famed author of 51 bestsellers. Lynnette won the piece in a charity doodle auction.
Writes Lynnette, “I was going through this stack of autographs and asked myself who I know who could relate to a well-known author. Your name popped into my head immediately.”
Thanks, Lynnette! How incredibly thoughtful.
Seems to me that Mary's self-description is good advice for writers of every genre. Consider: 1. Pen in hand. 2. Always in a hurry. 3. Looking for a plot.
In summary: Always be ready!
My third thank you is to all the Midlife Moms for their clever little gifts they made or selected for the rest of their MLM sistas. It’s always a fun part of our Christmas party to see what everyone has been up to such as Marilyn with her hand-stitched Christmas cards and Teresa with her M & M canisters, Patty with her decorated white wooden letters and this – Karen Carr’s jars of potato soup mix. I made a bowl of this for lunch today and it is simply delicious!
We all have so much for which to be grateful. Counting my blessings on this Friday, and wishing you all a beautiful pre-Christmas weekend.
My first paid job off the family farm came during high school senior year. A friend's mother worked in management at what was then Elder-Beerman (now Carson’s) in Richmond, and she asked if I’d like a job as a dressing room monitor.
I worked several evenings a week after school from 5 to 9 and one or two weekend days. Quickly I learned the special blend of a paycheck with a store discount.
As fall gave way to the Christmas season, business boomed. It wasn’t long before they moved me around from my quiet spot of matching the number of clothes that went in with how many came out of the dressing room, and hanging up clothing from crates of incoming inventory, to filling in all over the store.
They trained me on the old-time cash registers. They were huge with a million keys, many of which you never used, and made a loud noise with each number punched in. Honestly, the machines terrified me. There could be a line of people, and if I pushed the wrong number, it required the time-consuming and embarrassing act of calling for a supervisor for a bail out while the checkout line grew still longer.
That fall and winter I worked in juniors and misses clothing, the foundations (underwear) department, at the hosiery and accessories counter, cards and stationery, behind the candy counter, in jewelry, men’s clothing, and at the upstairs restaurant’s cash register.
Generally my traveling services were needed to sub for other clerks during lunch breaks or if they were short-handed. I never knew where I’d be stationed, but the dressing room monitoring work didn’t last long once I knew how (well, sort of knew how) to use the register.
Once I was called to the service desk to wrap Christmas gifts. We used thick, red paper with green bows. I was trained to properly fold over the cut edges into a neat seam, how to properly tape the paper and finish with ribbon.
As with the other departments during the busy Christmas season, this was a hectic task. What I remember most about it is not a good memory. I was told by a supervisor that I did a terrible job wrapping gifts. “We can’t send those out,” she barked, to my humiliation.
So it is with considerable irony that anyone would ever consider me good at gift wrapping. And while I don’t know that I am, I think after being package-shamed in my first real job, I wanted to restore my dignity in that area by at least doing a presentable job going forward.
While gift bags are handy and particularly useful when something doesn’t fit well into a gift box, I still prefer wrapped boxes. The mystery of what’s inside seems to last a bit longer when unwrapping a carefully taped box and undoing a ribbon instead of a quick pull of the present out of a bag.
One of my signature moves is to tie off a package with ribbon rather than a premade bow. For the holidays, I also like to use matching themed paper.
If I’m wrapping for a shower or wedding, I add a topper for special interest. Maybe do something such as tie a pretty dish towel around the package or on top instead of a bow or wrap the present in a road map with a toy car to finish.
A few years ago, Courier-Times Editor Randy Rendfeld had a reader prize to give away at the newspaper office. He said he wished we could wrap it somehow. I said no problem, I could wrap it right then. I grabbed a color comics section from the paper, encased the gift, and then fashioned a bow from strips of another comics page and stuck it on top. I handed it back to Randy and he stared at it as though it was made of precious gems.
“No man could do that,” he said, punctuating each word, something akin to awe.
He had no idea, but his comment offered a kind of redemption.
It got even better when my sister-in-law Linda surprised me with an invite to do a program at the library where she was boss. The topic? Gift wrapping! I spent time figuring out what in the world I would say to the public about wrapping presents, then I simply started wrapping empty boxes using every trick I could think of (yes, pulling out the map and comics pages for sure).
For an activity to go with the program, I brought supplies for attendees to make and take their own gift tags.
I can’t say that I drew a crowd or even anything close, but it was fun, and an excuse to spend a day with family and even pick up my sweet friend (and Linda’s awesome mother) Lucille and bring her along. We had a lovely meal out afterward. I call the day a success. As with my former editor, I’m sure that unless Linda reads this, she had no idea why I consider it such. It was because, again, I felt redeemed from my Elder-Beerman incompetency.
The other thing, which wasn’t on my radar at the time, is that I got a charge out of being a “presenter.” I enjoyed the task of assembling a program, then the mystery involved in wondering who will attend, if they will enjoy it, and seeing how it all unfolds.
It’s the exact same feeling I have now when I put together and present a program relating to some aspect of my book themes in libraries or at clubs or banquets. I love it. If I hadn’t had the gift-wrapping run through, I’m not sure I would have felt I could even put together a presentation.
Wrapping it up -- this all goes to show how we learn and grow from every experience we have along life’s way. So often, one thing leads to the next in ways we can’t imagine at the time. Whatever we do today, no matter how humble or routine -- or unusual, it’s likely preparing us for what’s to come.
I’ve had my small point-and-shoot Canon for several years. We've been through a lot together.
I’m actually more than a little surprised that it still works, and works so well. The camera was close to going belly up half a dozen years ago, and was saved by our newspaper’s then chief photographer, Max Gersh.
Along with being an extraordinary photographer and super nice coworker to boot, Max was an all-around good guy. He had a previous stint working in a camera shop and he knew things.
Picture this. One day I dropped my little camera on a cement garage floor and the lens remained stuck in an extended position. I couldn’t use it like that.
Max had some good news and some bad news. The good news was that he knew what might fix the problem. The bad news was that the fix might ruin the camera permanently.
“It’s no good as it is,” I told him. “Go for it.” We held our collective breath.
He took the camera, placed it lens side down, and SLAMMED it down on the desk. The impact freed the lens and the camera has worked perfectly ever since.
For six years now, I’ve figured that any day now, the camera won’t work – either from the drop or the fix, or from sheer age, and extended use. But so far, it keeps on shooting and my photos look as good as many people’s do with cameras that cost multiple times what mine did.
A few weeks ago I was sent to photograph a visiting big-shot politician in from out of state campaigning for a guy running for Congress. The editor wanted a quick pic of the two pols together in a coffee shop. I wasn’t to stay for the meeting they had with locals in their party.
The out-of-state big shot took one look at my little camera and said, “Is that from the Smithsonian?”
The photo turned out great, by the way. I’d stack it against any camera Sen. Hot Shot could come up with.
This trusty purse-sized machine has survived thousands of feature assignments, a day in the press pen photographing Donald Trump, and a trip of a lifetime photographing sights and scenes in Israel. It has captured Christmases at home, cute kids for page-one stand-alones and award-winning lifestyle pages.
You could say I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Size doesn't matter.
Thank you Max Gersh! This post is for you.
Even though the tree and house have been decorated since Thanksgiving weekend, the vendor table decked out for Christmas at recent book gigs, and Brian has the outside lights up … I wasn’t really feeling it. By it, I mean the holiday spirit.
The turning point came on an icky night in east-central Indiana. I didn’t get out of the newspaper office until 6, pitch dark this time of year, and as I headed out the back door, the last person in the building, the rain and wind hit me. Not pleasant.
But then I spotted it. The strings of lights draping from the top of the Henry County Courthouse to the ground, the pretty blue lit snowflake decorations sparking in the tower windows, the clock shining like the moon.
I pulled over in front of the Senior Center to take a photo.
I was cold, the evening black and windy, but inside my car, pointed toward home, I felt cozy. I felt the joy of Christmas start to envelop me for the first time this season. Ya-hoo!
Tomorrow is my day off and I have home work to do. Reggie goes to the vet for her annual shots and once-over. I’m looking for some new jammies. I’m going to take a stab at the Saltine Cracker Candy my friend and Chew This! columnist Blaise Doubman posted today on Facebook. (The recipe is in his book, Dessert First.)
If it turns out, and it will because Blaise is providing the recipe, I’m sending a stash with younger son, Ben, who enjoys taking his mom’s treats to share with his coworkers. Ben’s coming tomorrow after work and we’re having our favorite local pizza. So tomorrow will be a good day all around. Got an invite from older son Sam to head down to Fishers to share Thursday Night Football with he and DIL Allison.
On Sunday, I’m hosting friends from church, the Midlife Moms, at our annual Christmas party here. It is always a wonderful time. I am beyond blessed to have these women in my life. And blessed by so much more, besides.
It always happens like this. There is a moment, and I don’t know when it’s coming, when I feel touched by Christmas in a special way, kicking off the season for me personally. Jesus came! For me! And you!
Tonight came the moment that it all kicked in, yet again.
They came from South Bend and Evansville, Ferdinand, and Franklin. They came for a refresher on Indiana’s Open Records Law or to ask about a sticky situation on their beat, for inspiration from a St. Louis photojournalist’s images, and for tips on better use of social media.
Yes, yesterday was the Hoosier State Press Association’s annual gathering. Print news folk from one end of the state to the other convened in Indy for learning opportunities, for the lure of hardware during the awards ceremony, and for the free food.
I know these people because I am these people. I know that some of the sports reporters were up late the night before filing basketball or wrestling stories, that some editors were antsy to get back to the office after the banquet to button up Sunday’s paper or to figure out the page-one centerpiece for Monday’s.
Our paper won some awards, and that’s nice, and feels good. But for every plaque or certificate, there are dozens of stories or photos or headlines or special projects a newspaper does in a year that are also hardware-worthy. Maybe they aren't showy, but they they are important to our subscribers.
We cover our communities, attending county commission and school board meetings. We tag along with cops as they shop for needy kids. We routinely hear stories of heartbreak and of extraordinary courage. We write about drug busts and about celebrities who show up in our towns. We take obituaries and birth announcements. We knit it all together with a pen -- this crazy-quilt fabric of our communities that becomes today’s living history of a place and time.
And the next day we do it all again.
I’m always amused (among other silent reactions) by those who criticize their local newspapers. Yes, we sometimes have typos or fail to catch a headline's incorrect subject-verb agreement, or the competition from the next town got the story before we did, or we missed the fire on County Road 625 East. We hate that, yes.
What we don't say is this: try it.
Try creating a completely new product with a small band of people every day. Start with nothing but white space, then fill every inch, and do it again the next day, and the next, and the next. Do it for 176 years as our paper has. Then talk to me.
Know this: community journalists are not the national media.
Don’t confuse us with those elites. We would be fired if we did nothing but sit on a staff-filled panel and take potshots at public officials and the general public we cover, asking them into our space only to interrupt them when they speak, giving them confused, negative looks because we personally differ with their politics, and take openly editorial stances while playing the role of unbiased reporter on TV.
There have always been editorial and op-ed pages on which to speak out with a point of view. That’s the place for it. But I will say it: I am disgusted with national media and how instead of getting out there and talking to the public – people from every walk of life in this country – and listening to what the people say and reporting it – they judge and bash with what has become routine hate speech, interview the celebrity politicians and each other. They put their spin on what once was proudly considered unbiased news reporting.
I am amazed that a number of average people don't realize you get conservative views on one station and liberal ones on another. I flip channels all the time and think that I am living in two worlds from the judgmental comments on these channels. What happened to representing a variety of points of view instead of only your own personal one?
The elite beat reporters need to silence their own views and let the words of those they cover speak. They need to give voice to people who have opinions other than their own. You can’t distinguish any more at the national level between a reporter and a celebrity pundit.
I listened in shock one day as a prominent TV journalist covering the recent election mentioned that his wife was an attorney representing the interests of one of the two top presidential candidates.
I am disgusted by the panel of cronies the TV outlets traipse in as experts. The same experts every day. Whatever happens, these paid talking heads are paraded out to comment. What happened to asking regular people all over the place what they think? Or if it’s a news-commentary show, bringing in different experts from different places with different viewpoints. Try this: instead of asking a Harvard professor what she thinks, ask an Ivy Tech instructor what he thinks.
There are people outside of the D.C. beltway, New York, and California who have something to say. I don’t understand how national media gets away with how they cover this nation. Or why it’s OK for those people to be bigger shots than the newsmakers.
We who work at small- or medium-sized newspapers can be found in the 4-H cattle barns in July, clarifying a point with school officials at 10 on a Tuesday night after a school board meeting, behind bars interviewing a convicted prisoner about how a local group of citizens changed his life through a ministry.
We listen and are equally polite to the Democrat, Republican and Libertarian candidates vying for seats on the Indiana senate or county council. No eye rolling, no interrupting, no yelling. We let our readers decide who they want in the office not because of our personal opinions, but because of theirs.
One message that resonated at Saturday's conference was that of how the news media as a whole is under attack. The way to address that is to keep doing what we do. Cover our communities with depth and integrity. Work the phones, hit the pavement, talk to the folks.
Don’t confuse your local reporters with the elite national media. The elites could take a lesson from those in the flyover states who are on the ground, writing down a reader's suggested story idea in the frozen-food section of the grocery store, typing in a reader's parents' 60th wedding anniversary write-up, making another deadline, doing what we do. We know the people. We are the people.
We are freedom of speech and the press. We are your local newspaper.