Rose Post: Listener, mentor, friend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Betty Bills, friend: What a gift Sam Post’s poignant and lovely play about a family struggling with Alzheimer’s is to his mother Rose; he dedicated it to her on the day of her death. She surely was smiling down with pride.
I met Rose Post in the ’60s when our children were the same grades and had become friends. During the ’70s we both became involved with the American Field Service exchange program in the selection of homes to host an exchange student, as well as students to benefit from the experience of living with a family in another country. We worked together raising funds to support the program. Both of our families hosted a student, which impacted our lives greatly. We hosted one. The Posts hosted three! It seemed she made time for everything and everyone.
Rose became my friend and sounding board. My husband, Don, would shake his head when we got on the phone, for he knew it wouldn’t be a short call. Usually it lasted for over an hour. I loved those conversations. I loved Rose.
How in the world she found time to write her wonderful articles, I don’t know, for she spent so much time on the phone, or in person with her subjects or her friends, I wondered if she slept.
Rose is the most interesting person I have ever known. Wouldn’t that be a great next thing for Sam to do “The Book(s) of Rose” and intertwine great family stories about Rose with her award-winning pieces for all who loved her and her words?
John Whitfield, friend: I would like to add my voice to those who are praising Rose’s contribution to the betterment of people in the area. She was extremely supportive to the fledgling Mental Health Center by her participation in its beginning, her coverage, her enthusiastic support and her readiness to do articles about developing programs. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people have been helped by learning of the center through her articles. Let us now turn our support to her family.
Bill Moss, former Post reporter: As a cub reporter at the Salisbury Post in the 1980s, I was lucky enough to work with a talented staff that included Rose Post, Jimmy Hurley, Bette Barber, James Barringer, Wayne Hinshaw, Junior Austin, Horace Billings, Ed Dupree, George Raynor, Mark Wineka, Mary Jane Park, Jason Lesley and Beffie Cook. I learned from all of them.
Rose was the matriarch of the newsroom then, which gives you some idea of her durability. Some of what I learned from Rose I didn’t appreciate as much at the time as I should have. For me, an interview that lasted longer 30 minutes was dragging on. I was impatient. Rose would interview feature subjects for hours. Rose was like a lot of great reporters who are great because they are first good listeners and good readers of human nature. Rose could get anyone to talk. She was that blank canvas that her subject would use to draw a portrait. The portrait emerged in Rose’s profiles, fully drawn. When I look back on my career, I’m always really proud of the time I spent in Salisbury, and amazed at the richness of talent and depth of commitment we had in one place at one time.
Over the years, when I’d see my old Salisbury newspaper pals, we’d laugh about how a lot of folks in Rowan County think the Post is named after Rose. For those readers, Rose Post was the Salisbury Post. What high praise. What truth it was.