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For Decades Her Name, Her Stories Have Covered This County

 

February 6, 2020

“I.” There. Now you have it. That’s the letter “I” (lower case version “i”), both in quotation marks. If that isn’t an outright invitation to first person journalism, I (get that?) don’t know what is.

Therefore, this editorial is being written in the first person because Suzie Campbell, the boss around here, granted Virginia Bradshaw either permission or perhaps a mandate to write her own retirement story in first-person style last week. We hope you read that story in last week’s Countywide & Sun. If you didn’t, please try to find a copy. I guarantee it’s worth the trouble.

Years before Virginia joined this newspaper’s staff, she and I had a standing “date” twice a month and sometimes more often at the Shawnee City Hall. Back then, she was covering the City Commission for The News-Star and I was doing the same for The Shawnee Sun. We both had our own advantages in terms of time. The commission met on Monday nights and she could have her story in print on Tuesday mornings. I still had three days before publication and that gave me a fighting chance to develop a complicated situation more thoroughly. Beyond that, we got along fine and would help one another from time to time. Our competition was real but it was also very friendly.

As time moved on, both publications changed. Economics forced us to consolidate our Tecumseh and Shawnee newspapers into The Countywide & Sun. Along with most dailies, The News-Star also had to make some changes. Everybody in this industry was forced to do as much.

So as fate would have it, we were looking for a part-time reporter at the same time Virginia was trying to land a part-time job. I was stunned when she applied. There was no need for a lengthy interview. We knew what she could do. We also knew we were hiring someone who knew everybody — I mean everybody — in Shawnee and at least half the people in the rest of the county. Case closed. Job offered. Deal finished.

Now things are changing again. We’ll miss Virginia Bradshaw — I mean really miss her. Take it easy, old friend, and drop back by when you can. You’ll always be welcome in this office.

— Wayne Trotter (for sake of first-person journalism).

 

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