Editor to Editor

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 29, 2005

Thirty-five years have come and gone since I’ve been the Editor of anything.

The year was 1970 when I entered my senior year at Northampton County High School (now Northampton-East). I chose Journalism as one of my elective classes that year.

None of us sitting in Mary Ellen Lassiter’s class that year had the foggiest idea of what we wanted to do in life. Hey, after all, it was our senior year. The only thing on our minds was graduating, and partying – not necessarily in that particular order.

Anyway, back to the story.

Our Journalism class voted on the leadership structure of &uot;The Ram Page&uot; – the school’s student newspaper. As fate will now have it, I was chosen as the Editor.

I didn’t have a clue what an Editor was supposed to do, but I soon found out.

Mrs. Lassiter was a fantastic teacher. She was an easy-going person, but yet stern in a nice kind of way. She taught from the heart, rather than flipping through pages of a book. Looking back, I can now proudly say that the best thing I ever learned from Mrs. Lassiter was to have a passion in whatever you set out to accomplish. She would always remind us that, &uot;if it’s worth doing, do it right.&uot;

As far as being the Editor, Mrs. Lassiter taught me that, as the &uot;top dog&uot; on our tiny newspaper staff, I was responsible for making sure all the copy and photos were finished in a timely fashion in order to meet our press deadline. If there was a problem with finalizing a story or if an article misrepresented the actual facts, I would be held responsible.

Fast forward 35 years and a receding hairline later. My professional career has now come full circle – from Editor of the Ram Page to Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. While each publication is very much different, the responsibilities remain the very same.

Another thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the passion Mrs. Lassiter drilled into my soul as a high school senior. The fire still burns within. The passion remains. I’ve having the best time of my life. It’s like coach Jim Garrison always said – &uot;when you find a job that you love, you’ll never have to work a single day in your life.&uot;

Thanks to all of you who have responded with congratulatory remarks over the past week. I’ve received numerous phone calls and e-mails. Others will stop me during my daily travels and wished me well. Your support further fuels my passion to make this newspaper the very best it can be.

Before closing, there’s some very special people that I must thank. Topping that list is my wife, Deborah. She has been so supportive of my work over the years. She knows there is another &uot;woman&uot; in my life, one that goes by the name of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.

To my daughter, Danielle – I know I haven’t been there for you as much as I would have liked, but please know you are loved. No matter how fast you have grown into a beautiful young lady, you are still daddy’s little girl.

And finally to my parents, the late Ray and Blanche Bryant. The sacrifices you made to put me through school and college will forever be etched in my mind. What I do now, I do in your honor. Keep sending that love down from Heaven.

As one last note to the readers of this newspaper – help me make this a better publication. I welcome your thoughts – good or bad (we don’t wear Velcro in this business). Call me (332-7207); drop me an e-mail (cal.bryant@r-cnews.com) or stop by our office and let’s chat.