Back in the saddle again. After five years of mostly consulting and doing light duties at the News Journal, I am now back as the publisher of this newspaper. I spent 28 years previously in this role.
It is not like it was in 1987 when I started here. It was a building job that included lots of uncertainties.
The late Cecil Wilson who owned and published the Barbourville Advocate for many years paid me a big compliment years ago when he told me that seven others had tried and failed and we were the first to succeed as a weekly in Corbin. We already had our roots firmly planted in Williamsburg. We became the largest paid weekly newspaper in the state.
I give credit to the wonderful staff I’ve had throughout the years. Linda Carpenter was the first person I hired. She is still with us and is our Corbin Office Manager.
Most of our staff have been here for decades. Mark White is our Managing News Editor. Dean Manning and Trevor Sherman are News and Sports reporters. Jennifer Benfield is our Circulation Manager, Teresa Brooks is the Williamsburg Office Manager and Melissa Hudson is our Advertising Manager. This is a staff I am proud to work with.
•Every time I saw him he would greet me with a big smile. That was my friend Dallas Jones who passed away this week at 86 years of age.
I became friends with Dallas long before I started working at this newspaper.
And after I started working here I stopped by the Hall-Watson Furniture Company every week to get their advertising. It was my most pleasant stop and the one I looked forward to every week.
With a friend like Dallas and his two sons, Larry and Denny who worked there, it was always a joy to see and talk with them.
When Judy and I got married 55 years ago our first furniture came from Hall-Watson’s. It continued that way until the store closed. We still have several pieces of furniture from that store in our home today.
It was all because of the excellent service provided by the Jones boys. It all started with Dallas who was one of the best salespersons I ever met. Also, he was one of my best friends. He will be missed.