A publisher ponders

“How are you since it’s done?” a friend asks.

Another queries, “How do you feel now that you’ve sold the paper?”

“Are you OK about it?” says yet another questioner.

Others, probably reluctant to ask, just watch me closely to determine my condition.

Let me say I feel confident and secure for the business, the newspaper, and their continuing service to the public since Rob Rice has become the owner.

Rob knows the county like the back of his hand and an amazing number of individuals by more than just name, and he has a deep concern for all the county and its people.

He has sound judgment. He makes decisions only after thinking things through. He isn’t afraid of work, and there’s plenty of that at a county newspaper.

College trained in journalism, he then learned a bunch more about journalism, advertising, and civic duty from longtime radio station owner L.D. Bentley Jr., who likes to tease that he taught Rob everything he knows.

Rob’s a jam-up good sports editor, but as time passes, he’s likely to have less and less time for that as he guides the paper’s operation, its progress, and its improvements.

Late editor Lisa Ryan gets credit for first recognizing Rob’s potential as the paper’s managing editor, and he could but benefit from a few years’ working with the talented journalist that she was.

So much for the buyer. Now about the seller.

Another question arises: “What will you do now? Retire?”

Heaven forbid. That I would continue working was understood from the beginning of our discussions, Rob’s and mine – as long, that is, as I can find my way to the office and turn out some work.

Americans are admonished that we must not identify ourselves as our work, vocation, profession, whatever, that we must develop other aspects of ourselves. Well, yes. But if you’- ve been doing that work for 59 years, if you were born into its place and have been there all your life, it’s just about inevitable you’ll become that work.

At any rate, if you’re a workaholic with limited development, a newspaper isn’t the worst place to hang out. I have contact with a lot of wonderful people as well as some not so wonderful. I have a choice seat for watching what goes on in my town and county and with our people. I have opportunity to support good things for the county and have written about things not so good, though I’ve too often let those opportunities pass me by. That’s about my only regret.

I have worked and do work with splendid people who enrich my life.

And who could ask for more than to have shared for decades my parents’ work and, for far too little time, that of my daughter?

Leave this place? Retire from this life? Not just yet.

And thanks to Rob, the readers, advertisers, supporters, and fellow workers who make it possible.