I took some lessons from South Reporter staff writer Sue Watson this time around and scheduled my first interview for the Profile Edition in January.
“It’s a lot easier if you work on it a little each week when the new year rolls around,” she has always told me.
But typically, for the past 18 years, I’ve put them off and always with a good excuse.
“I’m just too busy,” I would say.
Bottom line, our annual Profile Edition is a lot of extra work for a small staff, but each year we find a way to get it done. And to be honest, it seems this year’s schedule flowed much easier than normal. Perhaps because I took Sue’s advice.
Each year, we focus largely on people. We dive into people features, letting folks tell their interesting stories.
This year I had the joy of interviewing a pilot, Martin Donnelly; a steer wrestler, Will Lummus; one of the owners of a longtime community store, Boris Davis; and the ladies who own and operate one of Holly Springs’ favorite restaurants, Jimella Echols and Shunte Hawkins.
But there’s a lot more to this week’s extra two sections in your community newspaper.
Sue, along with contributors Janice Wagg and Mary Minor, conducted interviews and wrote features, too. There are 18 additional stories in the 18 pages (Sections 3 and 4).
The Profile Edition is a team effort.
Barbara Taylor always works ahead, too. She was selling and designing ads in January.
Beth Breithaupt proofreads all the stories and ads.
And when we get The South Reporter back from the printer, we have a good crew in the back, either inserting or delivering, who makes sure it reaches our vendors and the post offices on time – Barbara, Faye Cooke, Kacie Gibbons, Desiree Walker, Lazandra Wells, Jerome Johnson and Eric Smith.
And that team effort reaches far beyond the newspaper staff.
We couldn’t do it without the wonderful advertisers. We couldn’t do it without our subscribers or those who put 75 cents in a rack and pay 75 cents at a store each week to read the community newspaper. We couldn’t do it without the good folks at our community post offices and the people who allow us to interview them.
And the list goes on and on. I never should name names. Someone will get left out. We appreciate everyone who plays a small part or a large part in getting out this edition each March, always one of our largest of the year.
The South Reporter is blessed by a community that supports its newspaper.
I was reliving some memories Sunday afternoon and dug out the bound copies of The South Reporter from 2002, the first Profile Edition after I became editor.
A few topics of the feature stories were Faye Sanders, Ronnie Jones, Chewalla Lake Recreation Area, Hawks Feed Mill, Annie Jamison, Naylond Hayes and Elouise Nabors.
Five years later, in 2007, there were features on Keel’s Grocery Store, Ruth Vanlandingham, Brittenum Funeral Home and Stanley Payne, just to name a few.
In 18 years, there’s probably been 300 features stories.
Here’s hoping you enjoy this year’s edition.