Collection holds treasures

Published 12:07 am Saturday, September 18, 2010

I’m sort of a sentimental person.

My wife calls me a packrat and I guess that’s sometimes true too.

The other day I finally took the time to clean out my desk. I’ve been piling stuff in it for more than seven years now and it was time to actually clean up to make room for the new stuff I collect every day.

Among the things I found was copies of some of my old columns, photos and stories from the years when I first started working here.

Many of you think I’ve been here for seven years or so and that’s technically true, but the fact is this is my third stint as a reporter for this publication. When I began, it was called The News-Herald and only covered Hertford and Bertie counties.

I was part of the team that redesigned the publication when it became the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and incorporated Northampton and Gates counties into the coverage area.

That was a lot of fun, though I still wish we had chosen to call this publication the Roanoke-Chowan News. It would have been shorter and would have separated us from both the Daily Herald in Roanoke Rapids and the Chowan Herald in Edenton, but I digress.

As I was looking through the stuff in my collected pile of newspaper clippings, I found a few things that brought back some good memories.

One was a story written by Jessica Kiser (now Drake). It was about William Pittman’s decision to finally retire after 52 years in the grocery business. It was significant to me because he was my first boss and was someone who taught me a lot about working.

I still laugh about some of the times I spent working at Pittman’s Grocery and the good people who I worked with and that clip brought back those memories.

There was also a clip from a story I wrote when Ridgecroft School won its first (and I believe only) North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state softball championship.

That was one of the most fun teams I’ve ever covered and a team that we all knew from day one had an opportunity to be special and they were.

There was also a photo I took many years ago of Dick Lassiter in a huddle at Lawrence Academy when he was coaching there. He remains one of the best characters I have ever been around in this business and remembering the times I covered his teams brought back a huge smile.

Included in the group was also an old photo I took of Joel Langley, who was the youth minister at Cashie Baptist Church many years ago. He led a program called “Fifth Quarter” after home Bertie High School football games that was extremely popular.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to catch up with Joel in the last year on Facebook and it’s been good getting to know him again. He was a very good friend who I am glad I was able to find.

One of the things that I most treasure is an old picture from my days at the Scotland Neck Commonwealth. The photo was taken at a political fundraiser during Jim Hunt’s third campaign for governor.

Hunt was pictured with Vincent Wyche from Halifax County and a man who at the time was a Halifax County Commissioner – elect; a man named John D. Hall. John Hall of course went on to serve his county well and then was elected to the state House of Representatives before he passed away still doing that job in 2005.

John Hall was one of the most sincere men I ever met and someone whose friendship I treasured long after I left Halifax County to return to this publication. Any time I see his name or a photo like that one, it brings back fond memories.

I guess it took a long time to go through this desk and I still hated to throw away some of the material I was forced to part ways with, but I’m glad that I found this stack of clips that I will continue to hold on to and continue to cherish.

Thadd White is Staff Writer and Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached via email at or by telephone at 332-7211.