Mirror Editor reflects on role, introduces successor to readers
Jul 17, 2014 | 1876 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WELL, ONE MORE issue (July 19) and The Mirror will have a new editor, my successor Vic Parker.

I’ve know Vic for many years, and he is a consummate professional newsman.

He owned the Jefferson paper, The Jimplecute, for 10 years, prior to selling it a few years ago.

Vic lives at Ore City, so is already well-acquainted with Upshur County. I think he will serve you and The Mirror well.

It’s hard to say goodbye when you’ve spent more than a third of your life (22 1/2 years) at one job in one community.

There’s an old Chinese curse that translates “May you live in interesting times.”

I guess that’s unless you are a newspaper man (or woman). The night before my first day on the job back at the first of January, 1992, Kelly Wilson disappeared. On my second day on the job, the Gilmer Police Dept. asked news media, including especially The Mirror, to ask the public’s help in the search for her.

That case, and the spinoff cases from it, kept life interesting for many, many years, as anyone who was here then knows.

But on a small-town newspaper, we are here for the good times, as well as the bad.

How many times do you see the Big City media in Gilmer unless it is something sordid like the disappearance of Kelly Wilson? But we are here, day in and day out, covering good things like the charitable work of the Clothes Closet and the Upshur County Shares Food Bank, the achievements of FFA and other organizations, in addition to the exploits of the athletes.

I’ve made many mistakes, or at least, errors in judgment in my 40-plus career in the written word. But I’ve always tried to be fair (maybe not always achieving it in the minds of those covered).

I have come to see my job as somewhat of a community ministry, the community as our “flock,” and to be helpful where we can, as well as having to report the bad. For example, I’ve learned the Gilmer Volunteer Fire Dept. needs volunteers.

Having a good local fire department saves property owners a bundle on their insurance, so help out these folks who give of their time (and often have to supply some of their own equipment) to serve others.

I’ve heard that the once large Gilmer volunteer department now has only a handful attending meetings. These meetings are one of the standards used to establish the ratings that determine YOUR insurance rates.

For more information, contact the Gilmer VFD through the Fire Department at 903-843-2222 or 903-843-3225.

When an appeal goes out for help for someone with a serious illness or major injuries from an accident, we are glad to give it any publicity to help.

Gilmer is a community with a lot going for it — an unequaled sense of volunteerism, and lot of people who are pleasant to be around. And a sense of pride, which extends well beyond having a superlative high school football team.

My youngest daughter, who then lived in Kilgore and now lives in Houston, told me the last time she was in Gilmer a few months ago, “Dad, people in Gilmer are so nice,” and recounted several stories of how strangers were more pleasant than they needed to be with her and my youngest grandson.

I’ve received excellent cooperation in covering news, both in the public and private sectors, here.

All of the churches have been very helpful, and if a church feels they haven’t had fair coverage, they either haven’t contacted us, or it’s been a grievous oversight on my part.

I have come to love the community and its people.

While I am retiring from day-to-day work, I plan to still conduct most of my business here, since I don’t want to have to run into Longview or Tyler for everything from my new home in Big Sandy.

So I’ll still be seeing many of you around. And when I get bored, I plan to keep busy. Where I can, I may volunteer at various organizations.

Sarah Greene and The Mirror have treated me well, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Vic is inheriting a great staff, which has saved me and The Mirror from catastrophe many times. He’s promised to treat them right. And I ask the Gilmer and Upshur County community to treat him right.

With that, I bid you an affectionate farewell, and hope to see you down the road.

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