Certain things just keep you going in this business, particularly in this crazy year of 2020.
A few weeks ago the newspaper crew received a kind note via the mail.
"Thank you to the entire staff of The South Reporter for continuing to publish during this difficult time. You provide a valuable lifeline to what is happening in our community. You help to make us feel connected. You are much appreciated."
As usual, it arrived on a day when I personally needed a boost. It's always nice to get a "thank you," and this one came at just the right time.
The next day, a lady came into the front office to renew her subscription.
"I can't let it run out," she said. "I just have to have my South Reporter."
My response "Thank you. That is what we love to hear."
One of the many vital roles of a community newspaper is serving as a history book.
We get call after call after call like this.
"I'm looking for an obituary from the 1970s. Can you help me?"
Most of the time, depending on the time period, we can. And being able to help always brightens our day.
We actually have bound copies of the newspapers, that can be opened and looked at, dating back to the 1960s.
We have some older ones, too, but the pages are basically too crumbly to open.
Other avenues include the Marshall County Library, the Marshall County chancery clerk's office, which has also received bound copies of the newspapers over the years, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
Just last week I was able to Google a couple of articles on a particular subject for someone from about 11 years ago. Then I went back into our morgue (where we store some copies of old newspapers on shelves) and actually found copies of The South Reporter that he wanted.
Another thing uplifted the newspaper staff a few weeks ago when we actually made a mistake.
We misprinted a phone number in a classified advertisement.
The next three or four days our phone here at the office rang off the hook.
"I tried to call that number, and it is the wrong number," is an example of the call we so often received. "Do you have the correct number?"
We did, and we gave it out to a whole lot of callers.
We don't like to make mistakes. But we're human.
And in this case, it reinforced what we already knew advertising in your community newspaper works.
No doubt, that person rented that house very quickly.
And another thing I recently saw several newspapers clippings on a wall when I was visiting around the community.
That made me smile. Technology is great. But there's still a desire and a need to cut out those articles about your children or grandchildren and display them. And be sure and save them, too. I have a box in my office and more at my house filled with newspaper clippings from my high school days, from previous newspapers where I've worked and from The South Reporter. They're mostly about family, and they're cherished.