Wednesday, 04 January 2012 13:36
I’m not one for long good-byes. Though my column this week really begs to differ. Saying good-bye sounds so totally permanent, when in reality, I will likely see everyone around. With much apprehension for what my future holds, I announce this as my last column for the Manchester Enterprise. While I’m really bummed about bowing out, I’ve known for a while that it’s high time to get serious about school. I’m facing some serious decisions, which require much preparation and concentration. Law school? Masters programs? Astronaut camp? Decisions.
In all seriousness, I’ve deduced that writing for this newspaper on top of four English classes would be the cherry on top of an anxiety attack cake. So I’m getting out while the getting is good, and handing over the reins to my good friend Edmund Shelby. Everyone keeps asking me, “Oh, what’s your plan?” There is no plan. I’m just kind of winging it. Hence the nervousness.
But as fellow-columnist Debbie Burns wrote in her final column last week: Life without change grows stale. And she’s absolutely right. Luckily mine won’t be short of change over the next twelve months, as I seek to wrap up my news career (I think), finish school, take on a husband, and live life. I don’t think I would consider it a New Year’s Resolution, but I intend to laugh a lot more, and learn even more than the amount I laugh, and take a deep breath once in a while. In the past, I’ve been unable to do these simple tasks. Wish me luck.
As for my time at the Manchester Enterprise. I’ve really enjoyed it. Since I started working here, I’ve had the opportunity to get to meet people that otherwise I wouldn’t have. It’s led me to a lot of really cool people that help me when I feel like the county lines are closing in on me. I came here at the age of 19, with really crazy blonde hair and lip rings and absolutely no idea what I was doing. I’m at the age of 22 with really long brown hair and a coffee addiction and some idea of what I’m doing.
For my final shout outs in this column, I would like to thank my family. My mom has been great for showing me support when I’ve needed it and felt like pulling each individual hair out of my head. Having worked here on-and-off for more than three years, I’ve called on her advice more than 100 times to get me through uncomfortable situations. My granny also deserves a huge shout outs. Without her, I wouldn’t have clean laundry and I would’ve gone hungry on many late Tuesday nights while putting together this newspaper. Thank you for calling me every Tuesday night for three years to make sure I was hanging in here, and even though Tuesdays will be less significant from now on, I hope you keep calling.
A shout out and a big thank you goes to my best friend and fiancé, Brandon Saylor. Life is full-circle and I think working here played a large role in my meeting you and getting to know you. I’d be silly not to think that. You’ve kept my spirits high when I’d rather be low, and there were times that I wanted to sit around and be bummed but you made me laugh and reminded me that next week will be just another paper week, so I might as well smile. Thanks for loving me during the highs and lows and going with me to really crowded and loud events mostly against your will. Thanks for sitting with me on election nights when I’ve wanted to pass out on my computer, for bringing me Pizza Pro many times, and other late night shenanigans.
A shout out is due to the men that hired me, Glenn Gray and James Nolan. Thank you for taking a chance on the little blonde girl with lip rings, even though I caused you to re-word the dress code in the handbooks, and had no real experience except the word of a few teachers who credited me with mad writing skills. To John Dobson, who was editor at the time: thanks for giving me the opportunity to see what news is like and for sticking up for me and pointing me in the right directions when I got lost. In the realm of Star Wars, you’d be Obi Wan.
Shout outs go to all those people who have helped me over the years, whether they were giving me news tips or stories or helping me dig up the truth. Or just giving me a good laugh in the midst of heavy seriousness. A shout out goes to the Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Kevin Johnson and Angie, who have always been kind to me. Even Trent Baker.
All the guys at the City Police Department get shout outs. Chris, Kelly, Patrick, Claude, Russell, the Jeffs, Gary, Jason, George and all the guys in blue attire – thanks for helping me out over the years. Through parades and wrecks and nasty weather, I’ve had fun working with you guys.
To our public officials, thank you all for meeting with me and helping me get the word out. To Danny Finley, you’re tiramisu rules, as does your writing abilities, along with your passion to spread awareness and open eyes. Thanks for being you, and for working with me on what I consider to be some of my best pieces.
Thanks to all my folks at the Clay County Detention Center: Kenny, Moose, Lusandra, Linda, Jeanette, Finley. Thanks for the fun talks on the comfy chairs and not getting annoyed when I’ve asked you to email me at least a quarter of a million documents over the last three years.
Thanks to all the ladies at the Courthouse: Vita, Vanda, Leslie, Brandy, Glenda, and all of you, for again, allowing me to pester you on a weekly basis and always being so kind. To my friends at the County Clerk’s office: I’ll be seeing you all around, because I don’t intend to stay hidden.
A final thanks goes out to all my readers and those of you who have faithfully read my column. Contrary to whether you understood what I was talking about or not, I’ve deeply appreciated all your kind words over the years. There were many days where I was feeling extremely down, and someone would walk up to me and say, “Hey, I love reading your column.” Never under estimate how far a kind word goes, because for me, it went a really long way. I appreciate this community more than anyone could ever know.
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:24
This Christmas was different, and refreshing, and I’m convinced I have the coolest family in the world, both inherited and recently acquired. I don’t typically get goofy over holidays, but this was the best Christmas ever.
Christmas is over, and now a new year is eyeballing us in the face. I’m really stoked about 2012, because there’s a lot of newness in store for me. Along with being stoked, I’m also slightly nervous and hoping for the best, which I guess is what most people do when trekking through uncharted territory. The plan is to take deep breaths and careful treading, and put my faith in a higher power. Other than that, there is no plan.
Anyway, on to Top 5 Lists.
Top Five Albums of 2011, in order of how I liked them: Circuital by My Morning Jacket. Released just after my birthday, and absolutely blew my mind. I got to watch them twice this year. When I’m stressed and need to go to a moment in time when everything was perfect for a couple of hours, I’m there.
Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes was a great album. There weren’t any particular songs that jumped out at me, but I find myself digging around in my car for that CD time and time again.
I can’t have a Top 5 list without Ashes & Fire by Ryan Adams. Ryan Adams holds a sentimental place in my heart, particularly after this year. Hot Sauce Committee Part Two by the Beastie Boys gives me pause, but I include it on this Top 5 list if for no other reason than I have attached awesome 2011 memories to at least two of it’s tracks. Wounded Rhymes by Lykke Li was also beautiful, but then again, so is everything else Swedish and folky.
I can’t provide lists for television whatsits, because I gave up cable exactly a year ago. As for movies, I typically opt to bide my time and wait for Netflix and DVD releases. I hope these habits continue into 2012.
Top Five People I Met in 2011: A shout out goes to Ann Harris, the teacher of my Geology class at EKU in Manchester. Ann is a geologist, by and from Clay County. Her class was super fun and I recommend incoming Eastern students to partake in her class.
Christan Tremblay gets a shout out, who I’ve become tight with over the last six months or so, has been a big help to me this year. She’s super talented and I’m happy to have met her.
A shout out goes to Theo Brown, because I’m pretty sure he’s both the tallest and beardiest friends I have at the moment. He’s an awesome asset to Clay County, and has mad video skills to boot.
Tabert Napier, Deputy Sheriff of here, gets a shout out because he is also a cool new person I’ve met this year! He’s helped me out quite a bit since he came here and I generally think he’s fun.
Lori Wilson gets a shout out, because I met her this year, and I’m pretty sure she could be the really fun, hip aunt I never had because my mom was an only child. She has great cake making skills and is good to have dance parties with.
And to the readers of the Manchester Enterprise: see you next year!
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 13:49
Zombz and Bing Crosby
Zombie dreams, Christmas shopping, finals’ end, and sleep – someday. My mind is on what’s to go down six months from now. Everything that happens in between is fodder.
My day-to-day dosage of chaos has significantly lessened, and I feel like if I were allowed a good three and a half-hour, uninterrupted nap, I could pretty much conquer the world.
Unfortunately I can’t sleep without getting a text, phone call, email, or some other strange phone notification. But when I do sleep, I dream about how I would evacuate my family in a zombie apocalypse. The average person might say, “That’s because you watch too many scary movies!” When on the contrary, I think it’s because I’ve watched too few. I missed the season finale of the Walking Dead on AMC and it’s affecting my subconscious.
Despite all the nauseating nostalgia that is attached to the commerciality of it, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby singing about snow, being overly attracted to everything that glitters, over spending, over eating, and general overindulgence, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. At its core, the spirit of the holiday is fun. Everyone tends to be more generous around Christmas, and ready to wish you a merry good time. Everyone is far more sensitive to the world’s problems around Christmas time. And (most) everyone wants to see snow.
Except for me. Hands down, I like Christmas for spending time with family and remembering past Christmases is the best. Creating new memories to attach to glitter and over eating and Bing Crosby is a fun time.
A shout out goes to Ralph Hoskins, for his superb fund-raising abilities.
Angie and Kevin Wolfe also get shout outs this week, for putting on a tremendous Christmas party, per always, and for being good people.
My favorite ticket salesman, Bill Lyttle, gets a shout out this week, for his dedication to the things he loves.
All the guys and gals at the Lockard’s Creek Fire Department get shout outs, for what they do for their community, and for what they’ve done for the kids at Paces Creek for Christmas.
Jessica Asher and Latosha Stewart at Cash Express get shout outs this week, for their efforts with their clothes and toy drive for local families.
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:04
Finals Week and Peter Pan
Finals week is next week, but I feel like I’ve been trapped in some kind of finals realm for two weeks now. I will never be so happy to see the semester end, and I really can’t wait to regain the ability the form complete thoughts and sentences. Finals, combined with the absence of leaves on the trees and Vitamin D makes me feel really strange. Sleep is scarce, as are square meals. The stress is constant, and if Keith London didn’t profusely color my hair, I wonder if I’d have gray hairs. I’m maintaining, though I’m not sure how. I don’t mind to sound like such a bummer about school, because I really do enjoy it. If chronic complaining were some kind of disease, I would have it bad.
In lieu of the final week of school, I’m taking the Peter Pan stance and thinking of happier thoughts: complete sentences, time with family, being able to watch Netflix without a seven page research paper looming over my head, real food, and seeing old friends who return to town from their schools! I’m extremely stoked about hanging out with my old friend Kayla Scalf. Until college, we had every class together. In high school, we successfully launched a Greeting Card company making personalized greeting cards for people (Card Card Revolution), shared at least a half million inside jokes, and probably had too much fun just being ourselves – but it’s okay.
With no hard luck, we’ll reinvent about a million more inside jokes over Christmas break.
A shout out goes to a new friend a made, a very entertaining man by the name of Billy Wells!
Elbert Lewis, Chief Earthman, and all the guys that work at the city get shout outs this week for their Christmas tree cutting abilities.
Elsie Woods get a shout out too, because she’s just fun to be around.
A shout out also goes to the guys that work at the county garage, because they’ve put in a lot of time and effort in working on the roads this year, and they deserve some credit.
A shout out also goes to Agnes and Scotty Jewel, aka Mr. and Mrs. Clause.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 13:26
My Great Uncle Wade Hacker said goodbye to his earthly life this weekend and went to live his eternal one with the Lord. While it’s been hard a hard thing to grasp, I’ve found solace in the thought that he is in heaven now, and I know he’s been preparing for his place there for a long time.
He was known to many in his family as “Paw”. I’ve even caught myself calling him “Paw”, not because he was my Grandpa, but because he just looked like a “Paw”. For as long as I’ve been alive, he had the prettiest, silvery white hair, and he always wore it the same way. His smile was the best thing I’d ever seen. He smiled with his whole face. His eyes would light up in a way that if he smiled at you, you couldn’t help but smile back. When Wade spoke, everybody listened. I never heard him say an unkind word to or about anyone. He was a patient man.
Wade was a man whose life was dedicated to many things, and above all, to God. He had ability when it came to Bible verses. In any conversation, he could tell you a Bible verse that related to whatever the subject was. He loved gospel music, whether he listened to it, sang it, or played it. He was a man of virtue and wisdom, and it was reflected in his 85 years of life.
For 63 years, he was a dedicated husband and father. He loved kids (and had eight of his own) and was great with babies. Babies loved Wade. He loved us girls. Even though we’re in our young adult years, and some of us have married and have kids, we were still “girls” to him. Every memory I have of him begins with me walking up the drive way to the porch, and Wade in his chair, saying, “Hey, girls!” or “Who’s this girl coming up the driveway?” or “The girls are inside!”
He loved his wife in a way that has always made me marvel at him, and hope to one day find a man with an ounce of as much love in his heart for me as Wade had for Norma. He was totally dedicated. If you ever saw it, you knew it was the sweetest sight there is.
A man of dedication, he was also dedicated to his work. He worked all of his life, and never really slowed down. Whether he was working at the saw mill, chopping firewood, washing a car, or taking care of his wife, he was busy and active. I hardly ever saw him sit down, unless he was napping in his chair.
He was always gentle and kind. Wade would ask me how was everyone at home doing? And how was I doing in school? And he’d tell me he was proud of me, and that I did a good job. He was sincere.
“Paw” Wade Hacker will be missed by many people. In this column, I’ve attempted to summarize what type of person Wade was, but words can’t really do him justice. He was a preacher, a saw mill man, a husband, a brother, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a friend. He was a lot of things to a lot of people, but to everyone, he was a genuinely good person.
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