2008-12-31 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Happy 2009!
by Terry Toole

If you need to do something this year, I would suggest you get to it. The year of "change" is just around the corner. I think it's already started.

I know some of you who live in the Atlanta or Jacksonville areas might not get this Liberal until 2009 or 2010 since these area are tough to get mail to.

One of my old buddies asked me last week at church, "When are you going to quit? You're 73 today. That's old. You don't have that many years left."

Before I could answer, a young person said, "Who is going to take our pictures and write about us? Who is going to run the newspaper if you quit?"

I think that might have answered the first question of my older buddy.

Now I'm not going to do like an over eighty year old friend of mine was doing the other day. He was making our his plans for the next 20 years. Knowing him as I do, he might just get to make out another 20 year plan in 2028.

I must admit, I don't make real long range plans. It's always nice just to finish up one edition and start getting ready for the next week's edition. I don't buy bananas too green anymore.

Now we are not like some of these companies that are "cutting back" on their workers. We are about as lean on employees as we can get. There are three full-time employees at the Liberal, including "ye scribe."

These two loyal employees, who keep me hoping, are some of the best. They go over and beyond the call of their jobs each week to bring you your newspaper. No one is indispensable, including "ye scribe", but I sure wouldn't want to get our the Liberal without them. Wanda and Max are more like my children than my employees.

We three might be able to get out a newspaper each week, but it wouldn't be as good if it weren't for our volunteers, most of whom don't get paid for their valuable services and very seldom get even a thank you.

Just to name a few, there is Glenda, who has been our sports writer for years. She does it strictly for the love of the kids. She might get the most pay of love from us and especially the kids.

Katie, 90 plus, took over the Ebony Dots and Dashes a few years ago. She makes most of us "old folks' shamed of ourselves. She is one great lady.

Bob started writing outdoor sports columns for us when I got into this business. He is not only an excellent writer, he has written books, and won many state writing awards. His Backroads and Bobtails is one of our best read columns. He has become a syndicated columnist for newspapers and magazines. He and his family are our friends.

Jack and his Seminole Ramlins has been, and still is well read. Jack is the Sage of Seminole and a published author and writer in many newspapers and magazines. He is an old friend and fishing buddy.

Dr. Debra comes in each week and attempts to weed out our errors and make this newspaper better. She and her folks are a part of our family.

To Alex, James, Suzanne, Ren, Morgan, Paul and all those who write columns and news for us, you do good, and we thank you.

For the help each week that Tammy, Kent, Joanna and Sue do to help us get out the newspaper in their spare time, your help is invaluable.

Now Uva, just turned 95, is the most valuable of our crew. She will do anything that she can while sitting. If we have one, two, three, four or five inserts, she inserts them all. She gets high pay, a big bag of Snickers each week or anything else she wants.

Last, but most important, my first wife, she is truly a helpmate at home, at the office and throughout life. I just wouldn't want to try it without her. She has told me the same.

To all those who submit e-mails that are used to make someone think, laugh, cry or smile, I thank you. To you who call in news or bring photos by, you are part of us. Thank you!

For the tough times like we are going through, we have had a good year and you have made it possible.

May God Bless You One and All, and May the 2009 be your best year ever.

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