I’m celebrating my 25th anniversary. No, not my silver wedding anniversary, but my 25 years being an employee of the Southern Standard. Pat Zechman hired me in 1993 right about the time I had reached the end of my “mommy” rope. My third daughter was settled in school, and was quite independent, so when I got word the newspaper needed someone to do the Mini Standard, I jumped at the chance.
I thoroughly enjoyed rearing my girls, being there for them, and being a homemaker. I took part in most of their school activities such as room mother, Girl Scout leader, coach, PTO officer and provided a taxi service for them to get to all their activities.
The Standard has been a wonderful place for me to work and spread my wings. I do not pretend to be a great writer or photographer, but I have learned so much and have made a lot of progress. And, I have had fun doing it.
In 1993 my duties were to put the children’s paper together, working with all the area schools, taking photos and writing stories that would appeal to a sixth-grader. At that time, Mike McGee was editor, and Janice Howard was the lifestyles editor. I worked closely with Janice over the years, and she started teaching me the ins and outs of her job. Back then we had lots and lots of engagement and wedding announcements, and it was fun when she started letting me help her with those.
Well, in the blink of an eye (it seems!) 25 years are gone and I’m filled with many wonderful experiences and memories. I have worked with many, many folks, and have learned something from all of them. Tom Gauger was one of the first to help me, especially when I was given a computer and didn’t even know how to turn it on! He was very patient and helped me every day, and I’m forever appreciative of him not laughing to my face. I hesitate to name other co-workers, but so many have been supportive and have become great friends.
I am a part-time employee, which is a perfect match for me. My husband is a nurseryman who really enjoys traveling. I have been able to travel with him to numerous nursery conventions over the years, and since the Mini Standard is only published when school is in session, I have some free time in the summer months.
In 2005 I gained the duties of Lifestyles editor, along with my Mini Standard duties. I’m proud of the fact I wear two hats, still on a part-time basis. I attribute much of that to the fact we get a lot of our information from the exchange of emails, something we didn’t have in 1993.
Modern technology is wonderful, and has made our job at the newspaper go much quicker. It started with the old fax machine, and now I am sending texts and photos from my cellphone, as well as emailing info and photos. When I started we also used black and white film and developed our own pictures in a darkroom. We advanced to color film for a while before going digital. Wow, that certainly made a big difference in our work load. Through all of this, I have progressed, sometimes kicking and screaming, but have always survived.
You might wonder if this is a farewell.
No, it’s not a farewell, because I’m sure there’s more technology on the horizon I need to attack ... I mean master.