Archive for Thursday, January 4, 2001

A fresh start in a familiar place

January 4, 2001

Hello Eudora.

I feel a bit silly introducing myself to you. Less than four months ago I was here as a reporter. But, I suppose a re-introduction is in order.

For those of you who don't know me, I came on board with the World Company when it purchased The Eudora News early last year. After six months as a reporter in Eudora and DeSoto, I left to become the editor of The Bonner Springs Chieftain and The Basehor Sentinel, the company's two newest newspapers.

I had a good time in Bonner Springs and learned a lot in my three months there, but when the opportunity arose to come back to Eudora, I didn't think twice about it.

Sure, I was a little sad to see former editor Pat Sangimino leave. The two of us have been through a lot together. Pat was my editor in Olathe and I guess you could say I followed him to DeSoto. He was a great editor and if I have any success in this position, I know a big part of the credit goes to him.

As much as knew I would miss Pat, however, I couldn't think of anyone else's job I would rather have had.

He's set up things nicely here and I'm going to do my best to stay the course he plotted over the past year.

I'm also happy to be back amongst the people of Eudora.

Looking back it seems I took the long way around to this position, but I can honestly say I'm glad it happened the way it did.

Working first as a reporter in the area gave me an opportunity few editors get. I got to know many of you on a first-name basis.

Coming into Bonner Springs as an editor first showed me the importance of knowing the people whose names appear in your newspaper. After a few weeks of editing stories, the names became familiar, but many of them had no faces.

It's easy to come into a town and form a quick impression.

We tend to size up a community according to demographics. What's the population? What's the average income? How many churches are there?

Once you get to know the people, however, those numbers mean very little. You quickly learn the most important statistic is the number of people who say hello to you as you walk down the street. I know from experience that Eudora and DeSoto rank very high in that category.

I knew after only a few days that I had made the right decision in coming back.

I received a telephone call from Eudora Superintendent Dave Winans. He called to invite me to lunch at the school district office. Having been in the newspaper business for a few years, I have to admit I was a bit suspicious. Surely he had an ulterior motive, I thought.

It turns out he and the office staff simply wanted to get to know me a little better. We enjoyed a nice lunch and I feel I left there with three new friends.

I'm not suggesting that everyone in town invite me to lunch, heaven knows I don't need that. But I would welcome each of you to come by the office and say hello. I would love to hear what's on your mind. After being away for three months, I know I have some catching up to do.

In the meantime, I promise to do my best to give you a newspaper every week that is for and about the people of Eudora. If I stray from that ideal, I hope you will call me on it.

They say the new year is a time for new beginnings. I suppose they're right, but it's nice to share that new beginning with some old friends.

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