The Front Porch

Crying “Wolf!”

 

Birds flying high you know how I feel

Sun in the sky you know how I feel

Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel

 

It's a new dawn

It's a new day

It's a new life

For me

And I'm feeling good

 

- Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly (popularized by Nina Simone)

 

Well, I guess I’m in good company with the boy from Aesop’s Fables who gave one false alarm too many times about the presence of a blood thirsty wolf, in order to gain attention. When a wolf actually appeared, the townspeople didn’t believe the boy and the sheep were killed, and in some later versions—so was the boy. 

I’m not sure my publisher didn’t think the same thing about my waffling on a somewhat agonizing decision to remain editor of the Advertiser-Courier, not due to a need for attention, but for health reasons. I was in and out several times. 

Readers that saw my column about a month back, know I folded my cards to retire. The truth is, I looked over the precipice of retirement, down into the abyss and didn’t have to be talked off the ledge. That and the cardiologist report wasn’t near as bad as first thought. I have unfinished business—that and I would miss seeing and interacting with our school district, students, teachers, city and county leaders and the good residents in and of the Hermann area.

I admit I haven’t pleased everyone, but as far as I know, I can count them on one hand and usually special interests are involved . . . well, you know human nature, and I pray for them. Some don’t realize how much the newspaper business has changed.

For those of you that understand the big job we do at the Advertiser-Courier with four human beings—bless you. Under great time restraints we are always trying to be timely, relevant to the town and accurate in the portrayal of Hermann’s happenings. We sometimes fail, but most of the time—and I stress that—we get it right.

I have a few naysayers that think I’ve sold out to city leaders—always painting a Pollyanna picture. The truth is, I refuse to write a half-baked story about important town ordinances or tragedies that require sensitivity. These are people’s lives we’re talking about. If the story has a Pollyanna ending, it is through no influence on my part. It’s a reflection of our great town leadership or courageous first responder actions and there is much to celebrate concerning heroics and the progress of Hermann in the last year. 

“News” has changed. I’m not going to throw a Molotov cocktail into our readership and sow discord among otherwise nice people that just happen to have strong convictions. The media is dangerous at that point because should I want to, I can project the bile from a few and start little fires everywhere. 

A resident or two have misguidedly tried to make the A-C irrelevant, bypassing the truth for the fun of gossip and speculation on social media. Large egos, dissenters and victims love company and sadly, they find it. I’d like to think that like the Christmas Grinch, the shoes on their feet are too tight. If they want to be editors without the actual work involved, or the accountability, they should do what good editors do.

We get better with age because like many seniors, we’ve developed patience, empathy and a refined radar to picking  up motives of trouble-makers and grifters. We report what people actually say. 

In this way, we remain transparent, honest and can sleep well knowing we have done the right thing, because rarely do actions reside in a vacuum and here’s an example. By operating transparently with empathy and fairness, the A-C has projected something good into the hearts of those that live here and abroad. I realized this when one reader recently told me, “You made me feel good about my town, again.” The person was earnest and I almost choked up. Again, it wasn’t me—I just report what our hardworking business people, city leaders, civil servants, school administrators, teachers, students and residents do every day. 

In 2020, you can expect more of the same. I’ve covered a lot of the low-hanging fruit in town, but small towns are like onion layers. There are stories within the stories and you can be sure of one thing—what you read in the A-C is the truth and that means Hermann is everything we think it is and more importantly, what it can be. 

 

Stars when you shine, you know how I feel

Scent of the pine, you know how I feel

Oh, freedom is mine

And I know how I feel

 

It's a new dawn

It's a new day

It's a new life

For me

And I'm feeling good

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