Ending my newspaper story the old way

Published 12:57 pm Saturday, December 19, 2009

When I began my career in journalism, our stories were printed using lead type. The end of a story was designated by a “-30-” line placed at the bottom of the column of type that helped the “make-up” person locate the end of stories in long galleys of type.

After more than four decades working in a profession I love, I have reached my -30- line of my journalism career. My wife, Peggy, and I are retiring from The Clanton Advertiser.

As we anticipate beginning a new phase of our lives, the two of us want to express our appreciation to you, the people of Chilton County, for more than 34 years of support. You welcomed us into your county and taught us the ways of Peach Country. You educated our children, Shane and Allison, and enabled us to pay our civic rent by naming us to several boards over the years.

You helped us celebrate our accomplishments and prayed with us during Peggy’s successful battle against cancer.

You helped us evolve The Clanton Advertiser from a weekly newspaper to a daily publication that is delivered five mornings every week throughout the county.

Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work with excellent journalists. Many moved on to lead newspapers in other communities around the South and are doing their part to improve the communities where they now live and work. I am proud of them and appreciate everyone who has worked with Peggy and me to improve our products, both newspapers and online editions.

We have had the opportunity to work with many residents on efforts to make Chilton County a better place in which to live. Some led and some followed, but all impressed us with their willingness to work hard for the good of others.

Peggy and I appreciate the support and friendship of our business partners here, Jim Boone and Boone Newspapers, Inc. Although they remained in the background, Jim and others at Boone Newspapers have played major roles in moving our newspapers and online editions forward here.

We appreciate what Jim and the entire Boone organization have meant to our family and to our community. We are truly fortunate to be a part of that organization.

Peggy and I leave the daily operation of your newspaper knowing it is in good hands and will continue to strive to produce a timely, well-written and accurate account of the news that occurs in Chilton County.

The time has come to end this final column, and I do so the way I was taught on my first newspaper job nearly 45 years ago.