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Section A: General News


Editorial: More reflections on 30 years as a community newspaper




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About politics and other things
February 5, 2014 | 2,114 views | Post a comment

Continuing on last week’s theme of reminiscing, I am forgoing political topics to reflect back on our humble beginnings.

In many respects, 30 years is a relatively short time, but in others, it is a lifetime. Some who are reading this were not even a “gleam in their father’s eye” 30 years ago!

Following are some of the reflections as we celebrate our 30th anniversary as a community newspaper. We hope you will enjoy the step back in time as we share some of these memories.

In the beginning, this newspaper was a part-time pursuit for a bored housewife. I began slowly, always putting my housewifely and motherly duties first. While I loved being a mother, I’m not sure about the “stay at home” part. I was drawn to something else; I had to prove that I could do both.

After the dishes would be done and the kids were in bed, I’d read the local papers. Yes, there were two daily newspapers back then: the San Antonio Light and San Antonio Express. I would write letters to the editor of those papers as well as the Karnes Citation and Today’s Catholic.

I wrote with a passion, as it was something that I found fulfilling. I had no grand vision of building anything; I just needed to say things.

You might say that my writing went from an avocation to a vocation over a period of time. My family might have thought of it as more of an obsession, but it eventually became my profession and a career that now includes my husband and daughter, and, at various times in varying degrees, even has involved our two sons and our grandchildren.

I had stumbled upon this little “shopper,” which was set out on countertops in the local stores for shoppers to pick up. This is in about 1980. The mini-tab was only about 16 pages, but I was intrigued, and befriended its founder, Peter J. Russo.

Much to my husband’s chagrin, I fell in love with the idea of the “little paper.” I began writing an occasional letter or story and it would be published.

I was hooked. I had ink in my blood.

In 1984, as Mr. Russo took ill, I began working independently of him. It was a gradual transition, as he continued to do his own thing as long as he could. Even after he died, little changed for a couple of years, but my devotion to the paper gradually increased.

It wasn’t until my sister Cathy Green stopped by one day. She was in Floresville looking for work, so I asked her to keep my little rented office open while we went on a rare family vacation. Cathy had some newspaper experience, so by the time I returned, she had some ideas.

Using Cathy’s experience together with my passion, we began to get serious about the little shopper. (She just retired a few months ago after 28 years.)

I began to pursue a vision of a “real” newspaper and, “against all odds and my family’s wishes,” it began to happen. We lost the lease on our little office on U.S. 181 across from the Ford dealership. It was shortly after that, when my husband, Al, saw how serious we were and how devoted we were to the paper, that he considered buying a building. Local Realtor Pat Brown found the perfect little office building for us in downtown Floresville, where we are today.

This was a major move for us. We were in business to stay; it was no longer a hobby.
 

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