Tucker’s Turf

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It’s been a while since we have had a column in the Monitor. As you all know, our longtime Editor Doris Newman has moved on to the City of Mineola after 30 years, 23 years as editor, of the Monitor.

To say Doris is missed would be quite an understatement. Since Mineola Monitor and the Wood County Democrat merged in August of 2016, we have tried our best to bring our readers the best in news from all over Wood County.

Doris and I, along with our co-workers at each office, have weathered a few storms since then. The biggest complaint I believe either of us have gotten is which community got the most coverage or statements like: “I don’t care what is happening in Yantis, Alba and Hawkins,” or “It’s a Mineola paper, you can’t find enough Quitman news,” or the opposite in “I don’t care about Quitman news, I want my Mineola Monitor back or I want my Democrat back.”

On the other side, we have been shown a lot of support for the effort to become a real county-wide publication. We are human and we do appreciate the occasional thank you, the notes of encouragement and the emails of support.

In the month Doris has been gone, I have forgotten just how difficult putting together a newspaper can be. A few days after Doris left us, sports guy Quinton Lilley left us for the Abilene daily newspaper where he is the new Sports Editor, a good move for a talented young man. But since then, we have done our best to get a quality product for you our readers to enjoy and believe in.

The staff until this week, has been our publisher Joyce Hathcock and sales executive Carl Covington in the Mineola office while myself, sales executive Brandi Box and office manager Brandi Hood have held down things in the county seat. Joyce has done a great job helping me get stories ready and simply getting the paper done by deadline. All my colleagues have been willing to go the extra mile.

I have been mostly still working in Quitman, but have enjoyed going to Mineola and seeing old friends at the July 4th celebration, the rodeo and other events there. The courthouse has been a busy place for me because it is such an active place trying to keep up with our commissioners, district judge, district attorney and sheriff.

Starting this week, we will see new faces at both offices. Newspaper veteran Hank Murphy will join the Mineola office and a young reporter, Zak Welerman, will join us in Quitman. Be sure to come by and introduce yourself as they begin to move through the communities to tell your stories.

I have friends and family all over Wood County and my roots run deep. My great-grandfather Eli Jackson Tucker is buried in the Ebeneezer Cemetery in the eastern part of the county. On my Mom’s side, my granddaddy Fred Stedry, a Czech immigrant, moved his family to East Texas in the early 1900s to some rich farmland on FM 1254 seven miles from Mineola. My family memorial markers spread from Ebeneezer to Concord Cemetery and Sand Springs.

I want the Wood County Monitor to be the best weekly newspaper in Texas. Thank you all for your understanding and support this past month. I sincerely appreciate it.

We still need your input about what you want to read in the Monitor. We also need some folks who are interested in helping cover sports this fall. Please call me at 903-763-4522 if you are interested in writing sports.

Come by and visit. My door is always open and I will answer your phone calls.

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