he life of a small town reporter is an interesting one. No two days are alike even if the events and headlines look similar. I’ve learned about life, mine and others. Sometime the lessons have been good and others sad.
The job is more difficult for a reporter living in a small town because we know the people we write about. You either live a solitary life or you become active in the community.
I feel fortunate to live in one of the best places in the world and for having an opportunity to report on some of best people and yes, those who have chosen to do bad things in their lives.
The majority of the stories I write are about positive things or people who have turned a negative into a positive. I’ve sadly written crime stories, too.
This region is known for turning a disaster around. Tornadoes, flood, fires and winter ice storms are devastating, but they seem to be the key to unlocking the goodness and generously in local people, churches and organizations.
You let people in Butler and the adjoining counties know there is a need and they are there. About three years ago the corner of Vine and Broadway burned. Everyone responded. Yes, fire, police, emergency medical service and emergency management you expect to be there, but off-duty representatives of these agencies in our county, as well as adjoining counties came to our aid, the United Gospel Rescue Mission, American Red Cross, and friends and neighbors were there before the fire was contained. They were there to provide aid to the firefighters, as well as the owners of the businesses and the people who were losing their homes. They were there bringing food and water for those putting their lives on the line.
It doesn’t have to be a big event, neighbors seem to watch out for each other offering a helping hand and a comforting word. After a flood that force neighborhoods out, churches following God’s word “to help thy neighbor” stepped forward to help those in need. For some of the churches the help continued for months. The good deeds to numerous to list in fear of leaving someone out.
During all of these events, I’ve been a small town reporter witnessing these tragedies. Yes, many times reporting on them: death, destruction, loss, but often reporting on my friends and neighbors. They like the mythological Phoenix rise from the ashes to pay forward the good deed.