We were reminded with this year’s Christmas parades and homes tours that it has been a year since we made the trip to Wood County to take in a day of activities surrounding the holiday season.
We had been alerted to a very reasonable and likely possibility that we could purchase this business and come to Wood County as our home, a place with which we were already familiar.
That Saturday we did not, and could not, let on why out-of-towners were partaking in various activities. Those events confirmed what we already suspected, that this would be a good place to call home, and indeed complete what has been an adventurous and tumultuous and ultimately rewarding career in the community newspaper business.
As with all our other stops, there have been highs and lows, ups and downs.
We have had the good fortune to report on some great stories and have also had to publish other stories that did not reflect on our newfound communities at their best.
But that has always been the case anywhere we’ve been.
To quote Charlton Heston, “It’s people.” They can be wonderful, and then not so much.
The ultimate job of a community newspaper is to hold up a mirror and be a reflection – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Each morning when we open the doors we hope that most of our work reflects the good.
There is still a lot of good in this world and this county, but it seems there’s also a lot more of the other stuff.
Maybe it’s just because there are so many more of us. I am reminded of that each time I drive through horrendous traffic in various places in the Metromess to our west. Roads that I drove in my earliest days with a drivers license just were not that bad.
Even nearby Tyler seems to be beset with traffic issues that didn’t exist not so many years ago.
Of course, when we flip through the pages of back issues of the paper, we see that there have always been controversies, always been folks with disagreements playing out in public.
That’s human nature. For better or worse, we all have our bright, shining moments and our low spots.
We are encouraged that so many groups and individuals work so hard to make this a better place, and that will no doubt continue.
And we want to do all we can to spotlight those efforts, as well as to contribute where and when we can.
But we also will not shy away from shining a bright light on the inner workings of local government. The folks to whom the residents of the county send our tax dollars are accountable to us, and we take our role in observing and reporting on that seriously.
The best thing about the past year, and about any new place you go, is meeting so many wonderful people who spend their days looking for ways to make life and living better.
Here’s to another good year.