Editorial: Rose Post wrote from the heart

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2011

ëCan Rose Post do the story?î For many years, Salisbury Post editors learned to expect that question or one like it when readers called to ask for a story. Whether the callers wanted a tribute to their 100-year-old grandmother, a successful fundraiser for a sick child or an investigation into wrongdoing, readers knew whose writing had the greatest impact ó Rose Postís.
As soon as word of Roseís death early Thursday got out, accolades started pouring in to the Post. Rose made many friends in her 85 years of life, which included 56 on the staff of the Salisbury Post. Countless stories in our files have Roseís byline on them; thousands of people shared their stories through her.
Rose embodied everything a good journalist aspires to be ó accurate, thorough, connected, talented, hard-hitting when she needed to be, soft-hearted by the same measure. She exuded empathy, drawing people into interviews that became more like conversations with a wonderful listener, computer keys clicking in the background as she took notes. People found themselves baring their souls because Rose was so genuinely interested and caring. She knew just what to ask to get to the crux of the story. Then she wrote it from the heart, touching readers and often spurring them to action ó even if it was just to wipe away a tear.
Technology has rapidly changed the news business in the four short years since Rose retired. Had she continued to work, she would have outdistanced everyone in the number of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Her customary form was the long narrative, but she would not have passed up a chance to connect to people in new ways.
But it was not to be. In one of lifeís cruelest twists, Alzheimerís disease stole the memory of one of Salisburyís sharpest, brightest minds. Had it been anyone else, Rose would have led a crusade to heighten awareness and find a cure. She was powerless to change her diagnosis, but she drew comfort from the close presence of her family and dearest friends.
We lost Rose several years ago, and now we feel that loss anew. She was courageous and loving and compassionate and wise and so much more ó a mother hen to young reporters, a sympathetic ear to people in trouble, an advocate for the powerless. She had a gift for helping people. To know her was to love her ó and to be loved right back.