Clyde: Things new Post editor should know
You’re not the first.
J.J. Bruner, at the age of 9, entered the printing office of the Carolina Watchman. In 1871, he purchased the leading paper in western North Carolina, with subscribers in 50 counties.
He “had extensive personal acquaintances and knowledge of men and things in the early years of this century.”
When he died in 1890, he was the oldest editor of the oldest newspaper in the state.
“How gently leaves the expiring breath,” Beulah Stewart Moore wrote. “The old south and the new south were the same to him, the same old land, the same old people, same old traditions, the land of Washington, Jefferson, Fisher and Lee,” and “he blotted with a tear the paper on which he wrote sectional strife and discord.”
Sir Josh, you’ve only just begun. Don’t trash the old ways. Immerse yo’ self in our history. Read. Hurley, Brawley and Raynor. Don’t try to rewrite history. We did not arrive at this point overnight, and it won’t change overnight, Mr. Martelli. Savor our accomplishments. Reflect on our architecture. Expand our limited cityscape horizons. Join Rotary and the Hurley YMCA. Restore an old home. Don’t rush to finish the story. You don’t have starving, news-depraved readers waiting beside the paper box just to devour your every word. Those are just bums looking for change left in the coin return.
With the internet, mindless Facebook, your competition and the prophecy of no printed page in the next five years, you must choose your words wisely. Enable thoughts that provide positive talk.
Don’t be afraid to be labeled. “Such is the fate of a simple bard on life’s rough ocean lackless starred; unskillful he to note the card of prudent lore, till billows rage and gales blow hard and whelm him o’er.” Heed the warning of R. Burns.
Meet and greet your subscribers. Get out of the office. Go past the clock on the square. Rent a costume at Eastern Costume Company and don’t wait for an invitation for social affairs. Saying hello just might be contagious.
Wonder, “what do the simple folk do?”
Psalm 10:17 says, “Thou hast heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart; thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: to judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.”
Try not to profile your public — disgruntled taxpayers; the snooty wine and cheese artsy crowd; fried chicken gizzard-eating deliverance boys; red slaw, pulled pork, inked-up bikers; not invisible indivisibles; trendy hysterical Fulton Heighters; self-imposed outcasts; non-readers, all. A sweet potato from down-eastern N.C. doesn’t look the same as a local yam.
Be curious but not judgmental. Keep your feet on the ground. As a transplant, don’t side with the certified Yankees. Find your own niche, “A forward man soweth strife,” Proverbs 16:28. Be the lightning rod for stormy days ahead.
Meanwhile, get the work done. Ask the right questions. Leave a positive trail. America never thought we would survive the wars that we have passed through, but we did. We can’t forget. We can’t tear down tributes to our fallen ancestors and their lives.
Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Go to the trenches. Meet the solders of our streets. Listen first and then decide, unlike our city council with their own personal agendas.
Keep us informed. Let us know what is important. Sort out the facts from the fabricated. Proverbs 25:25 says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Please greet us with happy news on the front page.
Finally, have faith. “Be ye also patient, stablish your heart for the coming of the lord draweth nigh.”
Who do you serve? You write not just for the moral majority; the “systemic racists;” the tired subservient employees; the white and privileged retirees; the rich slumlords; the new immigrants; the video-gaming, overweight kids who hate school, new or consolidated; the reparation souls or those looking for a pet-relief station and a craft beer.
There are future leaders that you can aspire to.
Tomorrow’s edition awaits. Look for filler. Or, you can always go for a rewrite.
Clyde lives in Salisbury.
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