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In what had to be one of the easiest stories I’ve ever been assigned here at the paper, I was tasked last week with doing a biography on one of my favorite writers and authors of all time -- me.
It all started last week when I pointed out Wednesday would be my 25-year anniversary at the Southern Standard. I subtly suggested such longevity should come with a cash bonus or maybe some kind of valuable prize. The people I made my suggestion to did not agree. However, they felt having a quarter-century of tenure here should be immortalized by a news story.
We immediately began looking for an old picture of me, something we soon found is nearly impossible to find. We finally found my engagement picture from around the time I started here and Seth did a good job of cloning out my wife (sorry honey). I’d forgotten I was a long-haired hippy when I started in 1990. It was pointed out my hair in 1990 was longer than any woman’s hair presently on the editorial staff.
While I’m sure there have been people who have worked in editorial more than 25 continuous years, it seems no one can figure out who that person is. Therefore I am claiming the title of longest tenured writer in Standard history until proven otherwise.
Given my unparalleled longevity, I figured the newspaper would put their best reporter on interviewing me and picking my brain as to my thoughts on reaching such a momentous professional milestone. They did just that when they told me to write my own story. Now, I’m a realist. I’d like to think I was given the honor because they knew no one else could do me justice in writing a biography. However, in reality, I know I was given the assignment because no one else wanted to do it.
Of course this isn’t anything new. We are often tasked with tooting our own horns when it comes to writing about staff accomplishments. For instance, you ever wonder who writes the Best of the Best Columnists stories every year for the person voted to be best columnist? Yep. We generally write them ourselves. It’s not really a bad thing since you get to hit the highlights yourself. After all, who knows you better than you?
I like doing my own tooting because I can cover all the talking points. Every time I’ve written up my Best Columnist story (which hasn’t happened in a few years people, so get casting those ballots for Duane) I have been sure to make it as glowing as I can. It’s not every day you get your picture in the paper. Well, in my case it is, but not with a quarter-page dedicated to me.
Now, all I have to do is hold on for another 25 years for my next big spread. I’ll ask for a bonus then too but I already know what the answer will be.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.