I’m sure other places have some impressive offerings, but what if I was to tell you there is no better place to live than Memphis, MO? Granted, it isn’t perfect, but let’s face it folks, the sooner we all learn that nobody is perfect, the better off we will all be.
If it were left to me, there might be a few things I would change, but then again, every alteration ultimately impacts the underlying fabric, which in the end makes it a different garment all together.
I began pondering this topic a few weeks ago when I first became a grandpa. Leave it to a life-changing experience to result in a bit of introspective reflection. Then again, there wasn’t much time for that, as my grandson, Isaiah, was born several weeks early.
For someone who has for the past 20 plus years lived my life around the deadlines generated by this publication, let’s just say this birth date put those requirements to task. Fortunately, I call Memphis, MO home.
Wouldn’t you know it, that this little guy would decide to arrive right smack dab in one of the busiest times of year for the newspaper, the Scotland County Fair. So as I fretted about how I was going to be in multiple places at one time, my wife slipped into the social media realm and reached out to a couple of folks who might be able to fill in for me by covering one or two of the livestock shows.
In less than 30 minutes, she got a response from the would-be helpers. Not only were they happy to cover on the day in question, they took it upon themselves to recruit some accomplices that could cover the entire Fair for me if I needed to be gone the entire week.
I did return to Memphis midweek to do the mailing and make sure all of the papers were set for delivery. In normal, trials and tribulations fashion, it was a day from Hell (literally I believe). The newspapers are normally delivered by the printer at 8:30 a.m. On that particular Wednesday, they didn’t arrive until noon.
Normally my good friends at Scotland County Vending graciously swing by each Wednesday morning to transport the Arbela area papers to the Wyaconda Post Office for us, saving me the 90-plus minute round trip, not to mention fuel and vehicle wear and tear. They noticed me down there once or twice and after asking, simply volunteered to do my job for me, since they have to be there each Wednesday morning anyway to do their job.
Unfortunately on this particular Wednesday, that ship had already sailed by the time the papers arrived in Memphis. But just like nearly every other Wednesday, my good friend Larry was on hand to help unload the papers. He made a special trip back to check on me after they were a no show early. To top it all off, he even volunteered to haul the papers down to Wyaconda, because, as he put it, it was his day off and I could use the help.
Okay, I realize that’s an abridged version, of why Memphis is a great place to live, but that is just one week out of 52 where being part of community proves so rewarding.
As part of this community, it has become clear to me that folks are concerned about the future of the newspaper and the well being of my family. I want to thank you all.
I also decided to take a little bit of my own advice. When discussing a topic of community discussion and considering how to approach the subject, I generally advise folks to simply put all of the facts out in front of the readers, otherwise there is a tendency for folks to fill in the blanks with misinformation.
Several weeks ago, we began running an advertisement announcing that the Memphis Democrat is for sale. Instead of offering the details, we simply tossed the concept out for public consumption with the thought that perhaps prospective buyers might approach us for more information.
Unfortunately, in the void of information, folks began speculating on our motivations and even began slipping off the deep end with tall tales about our future.
So please let me use this space to set the record straight. We are not seeking to move. Like I said, Memphis is the best place to live. Sure, we plan to spend some time in Columbia helping with Isaiah while Abigayle works to complete her college degree. Unfortunately the newspaper schedule doesn’t promote much flexibility, so if one or the other has to go, we choice for it to be our workplace.
Even though we are grandparents, we’re too young to retire, but it is time to adjust our work schedules.
After 20 plus years as publisher and editor, I decided I might be interested in doing something different, with a wandering eye turned toward something that might possibly not always place me smack dab in the middle of the latest public battlefront.
Finally, and perhaps a bit bluntly, Karri and I are not getting a divorce. I stay off Facebook, and am reclusive enough I don’t hear much gossip, but after several friends have taken the time to seek confirmation, and my mother in Kirksville even called to make sure everything was okay, it seemed like it might be worth addressing.
It’s odd that an effort aimed at finally putting family first would generate such speculation. But as I mentioned before, there are all kinds of folks in Memphis there to lend a hand to help, even if it turns out the reason for their concern is unfounded.