This will be my final column as publisher for the Times-Georgian.
As many of you know, I absolutely love Carroll County. A move, such as the one before me, is not made without deep thought, prayer, and consideration. I believe in my heart that Carroll County is a very unique and special place – a place I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to serve over the past seven years.
Writing this column is difficult.
Over the past years we’ve become closer through the pages of the Times-Georgian. In this space we shared our lives, our emotions, and our dreams for the future. And for me, you’ve been a blessing. At critical moments in life many of us have crossed paths at the grocery store or maybe the post office only to laugh or share a hug. If I’ve learned anything in life it is that we all travel a similar pathway – one filled with desires for a better world for our children, our love for our family, and the emotions beneath the changes that impact our loved ones. So universal, you’d be hard-pressed to find a corner in the world were these truths are not universally regarded at key pieces in the puzzle of life.
Carroll County has changed me – and for the better. I believe with the help of those in the community, I’ve learned to be a better father, husband, and parent. Our community is awash in great role models – those who openly praise and spread love to everyone they meet. Learning from these individuals is only natural as if through the magic of osmosis.
But if asked to select someone who helped form me as a publisher, I’d have to point to my long-term friendship with the late Stanley Parkman.
Mr. Parkman, or Stanley as he insisted I call him, and I first met in 1996 his back office here at the Times-Georgian. I was new and getting ready to take my first publisher position. Stanley, retired for over a decade, was ready to pass along some of the wisdom of his years. But what I learned was not all about financials and how to write a good lead paragraph, but rather how to conduct one’s self in life. In his eyes, being a publisher for a local newspaper was both an honor and trust. A publisher is a temporary steward at best – “The newspaper was here before you and will be after you leave,” he said.
Community service – or the act of taking care of those around you – was more than lip service in Stanley’s opinion. When needed or you and your position can help others, you should follow your heart and step forward all you’ve got to offer.
His words stuck – and I simply honored his advice. If there is one thing I learned in Carroll County is that there are many ‘silent soldiers’ serving those in need. Everywhere I looked I found these individuals willing to allow me to work alongside them to help others. And my discovery of what I will call ‘the joy of serving others’ is the one of the greatest secrets to life I learned while here in Carroll County.
So as I bring to a close my window at the Times-Georgian, I will freely admit Carroll County and the people here changed me – and for the better. For that I will always be indebted to each of you. I am truly blessed to have been able to share these past seven years with you.
May God bless you and your family.
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