Remembering Ramona

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

We’ve all come across people in our lives who shaped and mold you into what you are. These are the people you gain the most respect for and those who always hold a special place in your heart. I’m saddened to learn of the death of one of those special people in my life in the person of Ramona Goode.

Ramona was the news editor in charge when I really got a start in the newspaper business. I distinctly remember walking into that newsroom back in 1984 and talking with this gray-headed lady who was full of personality and charm that I thought there’s no way it’s going to be this easy.

Ramona and I had talked several weeks before I actually accepted the post as a reporter in the Ahoskie office. She made me fill at home and comfortable and I knew that not only was she going to be my boss, but she was also going to be my friend.

Everything was easy when I moved over to Ahoskie. Ramona had secured me an apartment and made me feel right at home. I got there and she had talked with someone about my apartment and once I was settled there I knew I was ready for the job.

I was a rookie and a little nervous at first, but she somehow made me feel comfortable and reassured me that no one was perfect and that we’d work at this thing together. I remember sitting back a many a day and just watching her at the trade she knew best. It’s not always how much you know, but more how well you do it and Ramona was one of those type of people.

She had a way with people that none of us really understood. No, everyone didn’t care for her tack but that was because she did her job. She was a reporter and a public servant and sometimes those things don’t go together. Everyone wants to know what’s happening around them, but when you put it in print, sometimes people don’t appreciate what you write. But that’s the way the business it. We don’t always make people happy with what we report, but we report the news.

I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by to let Ramona’s family know that even though we haven’t been in touch over the years, she paid a very important part in my life and in my work. I learned so much from the lady about the business. I learned compassion for people who’s families were involved in a tragedy. I learned honesty and intregrity in the business and I learned that there’s fun in everything you do. Those of us who have been in the newspaper business for some time in the area have had some good times with Ramona and antics. She loved a good joke and could tell one too. She was an excellent cook and we all benefited from that. She was a humanitarian and animal lover. She was honest and fair and she loved what she did and she was indeed a good friend.

My heart is indeed saddened by her death, but my memories of the good times and the things I’ve learned will live on forever. The battle has been won Ramona and I know that you are in a better place. Keep the presses running. I’ll miss you, but I know that God doesn’t make any mistakes. To her family I say, thank you for allowing me to have the opportunity to meet, fellowship, become friends with and love that special person that was in your life. She was special to me too. Thanks again.