Thursday, April 12, 2012
Close to Nowhere
Pages of the past...
I love doing the Pages of the Past. I like reading the “50 Years Ago,” the best. I can really get carried away following some of the stories.
One in particular that went on for several weeks was about a “Negro” who was buried in a collapse of some sort in Waterford. I can’t remember what happened or why, but the entire community, black and white, turned out and worked very hard to rescue him. People and rescue crews came from miles around. There were pictures of the rescue workers standing on the mounds of dirt.
I think his name was Harry, and he was rescued, alive, after maybe several days and intensive effort -- remember back then, the equipment wasn’t available we have now. Men and shovels were most of the effort.
“Harry?” was taken to Memphis, Tenn., to the hospital where he was recovering. The entire Marshall County area was celebrating with his family.
The third week Harry was in the paper, on the front page again, was to report his shocking death. He’d been walking and talking in his hospital room, collapsed and died.
The entire Marshall County area grieved with his family.
All this was brought back by a story on the front page of the “25 Years Ago.” It was a story about a family from California, the Huffs, who were walking across the United States, as a family lark.
This was the first story and first pictures I’d ever written and taken for The South Reporter. And it was on the front page!
I’d been making comments for a bit in the office -- I’d only worked here roughly a year or so -- about how I could write this or that story better.
Walter Webb, editor at that time, said, “Well, go ahead. Let’s see what you can do.”
The Huff family had worked out a very complicated system, where each family member, walked every step. It involved moving the car and walking back and forth.
By the time they’d reached Holly Springs (which seems to be a crossroads/mecca for those trekking across the country), the Huffs had walked about 2,000 of their approximately 3,000-mile journey. And they were still having fun!
Twenty-five years ago, Walter had to develop the film in the darkroom before we could see the pictures I’d taken. I was pleased, they turned out well. And 25 years later, I don’t write many stories anymore. I spend a lot of time fixing pictures off the digital camera and downloading stuff off the Internet.
Still love my job too!
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