My biggest surprise in writing this column was to find how people who move from their home town continue to take the hometown paper.
I wrote an article about three of the greatest ball players who ever lived, Mort and Walker Cooper, and Albert Pujols. They grew up within four miles of each other and would have gone to the same high school if Fort Osage had been there when Mort and Walker Cooper were students.
After that column was published, I got a letter from a guy in Dallas, Texas telling me he enjoyed the article and how he worked with Mort in security at a steel mill in Dallas.
I called him and asked in what paper he read the article. He replied, The Ralls County Herald. I asked how long it had been since he lived in New London, and he said 55 years. I then said, “You’ve taken the Ralls County paper for 55 years?” and he replied, “Well yes, I’ve still got relatives there.”
This made me realize how important the hometown news is to people who have moved away to other places.
What better gift than the hometown paper to send a friend, relative, college student or someone in the military! Every Christmas, I give my three kids and my grandson Cory Hackley who is in the Air Force in Kuwait a subscription to the Focus On Oak Grove. Cory says his whole squadron reads the Focus.
No more getting crushed or pepper-sprayed at Walmart on Black Friday. Just go down to your local newspaper office and give the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Every time they open the paper they will remember who sent it to them.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or firstname.lastname@example.org Or www.jackremembers.com