By: Forrest R. Church, Publisher
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Last week I had my fill of looking at this computer screen. One kid was off to work, another kid was at ball practice, my wife was somewhere between after we had both just worked a full daytime shift. I had the last kid and decided to go mushroom hunting before needing to work the second shift of the day later that night. Honestly, I was tired and felt like being done for the day at 5-6 p.m., but I doubted my five year old daughter wanted to watch her dad pass out in the recliner for his between shift nap. So off to the woods we went, just me and “Brown Eyes”.
I have to admit there is something about getting away from all of the noise, all of the technology, simply getting into the forest with your kid. It feels like a cleansing.
Though my little girl and I had no luck finding the ever elusive Spring morel mushrooms (do not think I’ve thrown in the towel on finding you my little spore friends), I decided to throw a fishing line in our pond as I honestly did not want to get back to a newspaper deadline or the never ending calls /emails.
After a few casts it seemed the water was still too cold and the wind too choppy. Deciding to toss my top popper into the northwest corner of our pond one last time before heading back to the computer, boom, a nice bass. It is not the biggest fish you will see posted on social media this year, but it made my day. Chasing my five year old daughter around telling her it wanted a kiss was even more entertaining, as was her screams echoing off the trees.
*Note that little five year old also took the photo appearing below.
I caught that fish 2-3 days ago as I write this week’s column, the experience of breaking the newspaper routine and relaxing a little still sits heavily on the front of my mind. Refreshing!
If you are able to get out and about I would encourage everyone to turn off the television (“smart phone”) or whatever screams noise at you and go out and enjoy spring. Court TV will still have the same repeating case on and we all know political talking heads will scream biased news from all angles when we decide to allow that junk back into our lives.
Before we know it the grass will lose its almost neon green, the Summer heat will hit, mosquitos will look at us like we are the last piece of chicken on the Sunday buffet, and we will have already missed the magic of Spring, when everything Mother Nature has to offer comes to life around us.
I was excited a few weeks ago to debut for the first time our newspaper printing in full color. I have wanted to implement this change for well, probably twenty years. There is no promise we will be able to keep this option arriving, we will do our best. The color decision is all based off community support – advertisement placed, subscriptions and counter sale purchases; we hope providing “top shelf” print quality will increase our circulation and ad support.
I have been excited about the improvements thus far. We are still tweaking some settings and from time to time I may have to break the normal “page flow” in order to allow our pages to fit the press configurations needed, but all in all I have been pleased thus far and hope you have been as well.
I have always loved deer. The family makes a game of it when we travel. Who will spot the first deer?
One of my favorite memories with our now teenager was rescuing a fawn that we scared and it jumped in our pond. It would have drown if our son did not jump into the mucky pond edge to help it back to the woods.
Of course when my dear (wife Casey) hits a deer then I like deer a little less (last year). Hmm, I wonder if that rescued fawn ws the deer my wife hit since that happened about half a mile from home?
But this Spring my love for our four legged neighbors grew a little dimmer when discovering they came out of the woods and ate just about every small tree I planted last year during the Winter, including leaving their prints as evidence.
Give them a run for their money later this year hunters. I still like deer, but maybe a little more in the form of sausage or steaks. (I probably just offended someone, sorry).
SOCIAL MEDIA POST – Attention locals! We have an exciting opportunity to feature area couples who have celebrated 50+ years of marriage in The Village Reporter. We understand that negative news can be overwhelming, so we’re working hard to focus on the positives within our area Northwest Ohio communities. This new feature will provide a weekly dose of heartwarming stories.
For at least 12 weeks, we’ll feature a couple with a large article spread of 1-2 full broadsheet newspaper pages (full color). However, we need your help to make this happen. With printing prices doubling within the past two years and three postage increases in nine months, these amazing local opportunities are often being put on hold until sponsorship is found to offset increased costs.
If you’re an organization, business or individual who would like to partner with us on this opportunity, please private message or email firstname.lastname@example.org
EMAIL, SOCIAL MEDIA & MAIL BAG
(Email Received) Thank you for keeping us in touch with our roots through your extensive coverage of the communities in northwest Ohio, especially our hometown of Fayette. We look forward every week to the email alerting us that another edition has arrived. Each time I wonder if living in Southern California with all its chaos is worth it, I am comforted by an adage I have taped to my desk: “Don’t wait for things to get better. Life will always be complicated. Learn to be happy right now, otherwise you’ll run out of time.”
(Email Received) – I just finished reading your paper from March 29th. I want to let you know how much I LOVED seeing the two page, expanded Looking Back section! My family has lived in West Unity/Stryker areas for a very long time and I always read that section, occasionally finding out things about my long ago deceased relatives that I didn’t know. I’m hoping you will continue the extra page coverage every week. That and the “Crossed My Mind” sections are my favorite parts of the paper.
(Social Media Comment) – “Shame on (newspaper name) for keeping the basketball team articles locked during such an historic run for a state title. Sometimes a run for greatness overshadows money.”
Thank you for your kind words. We do hope to continue a second page of the Year’s Ago section. I am glad you noticed that we have been trying to make additional historic entries along with adding a second historic photo.
And, we certainly often do need reminded to be happy / content in the moment, I believe our entire society could use a dose of this message.
I cannot tell you in this line of work where we tend to only hear from the 1/10 of 1% that are mad at us about something (or people just hate the media in general) how nice an occasional “pat on the back” feels.
Ever notice in life when you are feeling good about something or receive a praise that a negative tends to follow?
Concerning newspaper requiring people to pay to read their services, whether in print or online. Hmmm, my morning devotion in my head is preventing me from saying what comes to mind.
So I will give a politically correct answer. Did you receive a free t-shirt from the local shops selling basketball tournament shirts because the basketball team did well? Did a local restaurant give you a free meal to celebrate our local team’s tournament run success? I coud go on, again, (devotion, listen to the devosion Forrest) …
If a newspaper pays a decent wage per hour and it takes a ton of hours to create news coverage, milage to and from a tournament game over three hours each way, meals, etc – $2.00 per week is too much to support local small business? A small fee that is less than a candy bar for 425 of local work staff hours that week?
Those that read my column know I could add a few pages to this piece now and address this issue more in detail. But I’m going to run with the positive comments emailed and not focus on the negative.
Support local business folks, support local business.
I would love to hear from you. As always, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com or via the mail at 115 Broad Street, Montpelier, Ohio 43543.