How thankful we are – for all of you
It’s been busy here at the newspaper office. We’ve been pushing deadlines, staying up late and working hard to get the newspaper and our annual Ozark County Cookin’ cookbook out to our readers. Last week, after the papers and cookbooks were delivered across the county, I sat down at my desk with the intention of quickly flipping through both publications to check the quality of the print job.
As my quick flip-through of the Times and the cookbook morphed into an hour or so of reading and thinking, it occurred to me how very thankful I am for all of you who make it possible for us to do what we love.
Each week, people give us glimpses into their lives and let us tell their stories. Sometimes the stories are painful, but then, sometimes they’re joyous, like Jill Frye Talley’s triumph over addiction on the front page of last week’s paper. I’m thankful for her bravery and her desire to help others by sharing her story with our readers.
As I read news briefs about upcoming church and community events, I thought about all the emails and phone calls from people across the county, letting us know what was coming up so we could put in the paper, and I felt thankful to all those who shared information with us.
I’m thankful for Mary Ruth Sparks for compiling the Times Past feature for us. (It’s one of my personal favorite features in the paper each week!) On that same page of last week’s paper was Linnie Ingram’s column. Linnie has been a correspondent for the Times for decades and decades. She and Zanoni correspondent Colene Rose rarely miss a week. I’m thankful for their hard work and their dedication to community news.
On page 9 of last week’s paper, we ran a photo of Gainesville High School cross country runner Aspyn Britt – ponytail flying, face determined and fierce as she headed to the finish line at the state meet, where she set a new personal record and earned all-state and all-region honors – a first for any Gainesville cross country runner. Karla Smith took the photo for us, and I’m thankful for her and her talent with a camera. Basketball season is here, and I’m looking forward to publishing game photos from Karla, Amy Ingalsbe, Shana Hambelton and Misty Souder. There’s no way our small staff can cover all the games, and it’s wonderful to have their photos.
Dora FFA adviser Paula Bodenhamer sent us a photo of Shane Olmsted, who earned his American FFA degree, and GHS FBLA adviser Chelsey Gilmore sent us photos and a story about her students’ participation in the fall leadership conference. I’m thankful for teachers and coaches who share their students’ successes with us.
Chelsey also took the beautiful photo of her grandma Norma Eslinger, who is featured on the cover of the cookbook. There’s a sweet story, written by Chelsey, on page 6 about her grandma. Marty Uhlmann shared her mother Bess Cropper’s hot roll recipe, along with memories of her mother. Malina Berning shared her grandma Nancy Mahan’s chocolate gravy recipe and her childhood memories of spending time at her grandma’s house.
Shana Hambelton of Dora gathered her aunts and mother together and shot a gorgeous photo of the family in memory of all the candy making they’ve done throughout the years. The entire cookbook is compiled of photos, recipes and memories that people shared with us, and I’m thankful to each person who helped.
Of course, all of us at the Times are also thankful to every single advertiser. Without them, we wouldn’t be here at all.
And then there’s you, the reader. Whether you’ve come into the office to buy the latest edition or you’re reading it at home in your easy chair after picking it up from the mailbox, you’re the reason we do what we do. Thank you for reading these words and others we squeeze into each week’s Times. Thanks for supporting us, encouraging us and sending us your news to share.
At a time when large newspapers across America are struggling, and some people are saying print is on its way out, the Ozark County Times is doing fine, thanks to you.
Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us here at the Times.
Norene Prososki is the publisher and owner of the Ozark County Times.