Forty-six years ago, I walked into a newsroom and started what has become a rewarding -- and sometimes surprising -- career.
You see, I never planned to work. Had I set any goals? Was I motivated to pursue a profession? No to both.
I was taking classes at the local community college, without a clue as to what path I would follow into actual adulthood.
This has been an experience unlike most family and friends have known along their employment journey. I got lucky when I seemingly fell into a career that stuck.
The editor-in-chief of my hometown newspaper pretty much gave me a chance because he knew my parents (they were very active in the community) and my older sister who had brought much acclaim to the city high school with her national honors and many scholarships and awards.
I had celebrated my 19th birthday weeks before my official entry into the industry. It doesn’t seem that long ago when I walked into the newsroom under the gaze of men wondering who is she and what can she possibly bring to the daily publication?
Fortunately, one of those men, the managing editor, saw something worth molding. He took the time and helped me along the way as I climbed the ladder of titles. He had already changed professions when I became the managing editor, but he was quick to offer congratulations as I thanked him for being such a supportive mentor. He and I remain in contact.
I’ve seen so many changes, having started on a manual typewriter, designing pages with a pica pole and a pencil for the composing room, and learning codes for video display terminals (VDTs). Macs brought a whole new world to what I was learning in the business.
I’ve been fortunate throughout the years, as I’ve moved to what I considered better opportunities. The greatest blessing is the number of friends I have made along the way. Social media has kept us connected.
A dear friend passed away the day before I got the offer at The Mechanicsville Local. I believe she is my guardian angel, because the next day I accepted the position.
This is the last stop for this editor. I found a home, and, most of all, a great group of people to work for and with.
So, here’s to 46 years and a ride filled with precious memories. Until then, let’s keep the focus on Hanover County.