As a new hire to the Banner Graphic (in fact, I'm in my 2nd full day as of writing this), I have been thinking about the demands I will face as a general reporter. I knew going in that covering events like school board meetings, car wrecks and community gatherings would occupy a lot of my time. This is news that people ought to know about.
But just in these past few days, I've started to get a feel for how important it will be to connect with people, and do so in a fashion that is honest and attentive.
I would gander that a fair number of people recognize my last name. My mother has been practicing law here for a long time. My father ran Remedies near the square, and would frequently deliver drugs throughout the county. Many might still remember getting their chocolate sodas from the ice cream fountain.
I make it no secret that I'm a Greencastle native and a Wabash Man. I am proud of both, despite the rivalry. I don't go into a lot about my Spina bifida, unless there is genuine interest and awareness in it. On the whole, these details are not what define me in my new position. In a way, I am starting fresh.
I am starting fresh working to be more involved in this community, and meeting and greeting the people who have a stake in it. While writing and photography for the Banner are my occupational concern, maintaining connections is another important facet to this work. And I think it can be as simple as just being seen.
Yesterday, I went to eat breakfast at Bert and Betty's in Fillmore. It was the first time I had visited in months. But this was more than just about ordering a plate of good eggs and sausage.
It was about listening to the locals talk about the politics and events that pervade discussion in our community. It was about hearing one of them candidly comment on a recent jury trial with other residents, who might as well be family. It was about talking with B&B's owners, and jogging their memories of me coming in with the Volkswagen mechanic for lunch on Saturdays.
To me, that is small town PR. With these interactions in mind, I know that it will take time before I become a "regular." I embrace that challenge, and I want to tell your stories, whatever they may be. Whether it be at Starbucks or the Double Decker, out on the square or at a school board meeting, I look forward to getting to know you.