My editor and I were talking today about some of our friends in journalism who have gone on to bigger news outlets and better pay, “bigger and better things,” in his words.
His name is Gene Lehmann, and he is among the best editors I have known. “Everyone here,” he added, “could have gone on to bigger newspapers.”
I pointed out that we in Ada and those at similar newspapers all around the country love community journalism and we love our communities. I feel like Ada and I have become friends over the years, and the images I produce here have become an important part of the lives of everyone who lives and works here.
I was thinking about this last month when I was in Roff High School covering one of their basketball games. In the lobby of their small gym is a display of images from their recent baseball state championships. The prints were mounted and framed as a gift from a local bank, who got the images from me. Dozens of my images immortalized those championship seasons, and as I looked at them I felt proud and privileged to be a part of that. Those people, their family and friends, and kids who go to Roff School for decades to come will benefit from those images.
It’s not just Roff or Byng or Ada or ECU, but the whole community who shares and appreciates my work. So many places I go I see newspaper clippings on the walls and refrigerators and bulletin boards, and it’s my name at the bottom of all of them.
I am honored by that.