In the blink of an eye, 2018 is gone.
It was a good year. They’re all good.
It had its ups and downs. They all have their ups and downs.
Once again, The South Reporter crew got 52 editions of your newspaper to press.
That’s more than 900 in the 17 and a half years I’ve been a part of the staff here.
And the newspaper itself will be entering its 154th year in 2019. You can do the math.
This year’s Christmas edition, published last week, was a tough one, a rewarding one, a successful one, and a goodlooking one. It was 40 pages, filled with news, photos, advertisements, Letters to Santa, season’s greetings and more.
I answered the phone Wednesday morning, the day the newspaper was hitting the streets.
“Yes, can you tell me when the Santa letters will be in the newspaper?” the caller asked.
“This week,” I replied.
“I’m in Potts Camp,” she said. “When can I get one?”
“Today, probably around 2 p.m., at any of the convenience stores in town,” I replied.
“Really, today?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.
I appreciated her excitement. And, no doubt, she was anxious to read a particular child’s Christmas wish list.
The next morning, I stopped by a business that sells South Reporters on the inside.
“Do you have any newspapers left?” I asked.
“No,” she replied. “It’s Letters to Santa week. They go fast.”
And still on Friday, readers were stopping by the office.
“I have to get a newspaper – Letters to Santa” was the common comment.
I remember Emma, Andy and Erin were all small. Pam and I, too, had to be sure we took a close look at those “Letters to Santa,” and we always hoped it wasn’t too late for the jolly old man from the North Pole to add certain things to his sleigh.
The weeks leading up to the Christmas edition are always hectic. Thursday, we are pretty much worn out – mentally and physically.
I drove to the post office to get the mail.
As I was getting items out of the box, I was also handed a pretty large package, which always stirs curiosity.
Back at the office, I quickly discovered it was a big box of cookies with a kind note.
“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the hardworking staff at The South Reporter. From your appreciative subscribers, Jill and Sam Labonia.”
It was certainly the right gift at the right time.
Then also last week, we received a delivery of cookies courtesy of Mary Minor, our good friend and newspaper contributor from Potts Camp.
These cookies were tasty, yes, but also uplifting and encouraging, for all of us.
As 2018 ends and 2019 begins, The South Reporter crew wants to thank you, the readers, the advertisers, the many contributors news-wise and photo-wise, and just Marshall County as a whole for your support.
It’s pretty amazing to me that any business can keep on ticking for 154 years (1865 to 2019).
Happy New Year!
Your community newspaper staff looks forward to another good year, and we couldn’t do it without you.