Pratt Tribune managing editor retires after 20 years on the job with plans to spend more time in the kitchen.
The picture tells the short story. The Pratt Tribune is behind me; Dec. 22 is my last day as editor.
I applied for a job with the Tribune in 1993 because I thought the lifestyles page needed some help and my background in home economics (a discipline that no longer exists, replaced by family and consumer science, and that, regretfully, seems to be on the way out as well) would be an asset.
I quickly discovered that the lifestyles page was only a part of the job, and it’s become an even smaller part as the years have passed.
I’ve laid out sports pages when that position was vacant (several times) and wrote a very few sports stories, but never put my name on them. I know next to nothing about sports, but when I was laying out the stories and photos it was easy to get caught up in the excitement of “my” teams.
I’ve reported on school boards of education, city commission, and occasionally county commission and the college board of trustees. At one of those meetings I acquired a napkin that says, “Beam me up, Scotty, there is no intelligent life at this party,” which I pinned to my bulletin board. It’s funny, but not true. Elected officials take their jobs very seriously. They do their homework and discuss issues intelligently.
I’ve covered some local happenings because I was interested. County fair time has been a favorite, although I have to admit that a six-hour sheep and goat show on a hot July day stretched my attention span. It’s been fun to see the kids grow and develop over the years, and I never have so many doors held for me as at the fair.
The job has been the ticket in to events I wouldn’t have otherwise attended. I know even less about art than I do about sports, but it’s been interesting to visit with artists whose work was being displayed at the local art museum and learn why they do what they do.
Over the years I’ve been a regular at the historical museum. A “Building Pratt History” series a few years ago was a favorite of mine, as well as a timeline of local and Kansas events for the state sesquicentennial in 2011. I’m not a Kansas native, so I learned from the research.
I can’t say I would have ever gone to a candidate forum if I didn’t need to write a story, but all voters should. In 2016 I was especially proud of county and city candidates who focused on the issues and their ideas to solve problems.
The vertical pronoun is prominent in this story, but “we” is always more important. Everyone contributes to a whole, the three-times-a-week Tribune, the special projects and coverage of the big events. As a staff, we won a Kansas Press Association award for stories following 9-11. We all worked on stories after a tornado flattened our neighbor. I’m so proud of the progress Greensburg has made towards recovery.
I have written stories that I thought were good or important, but lately, I’m getting the most attention from the “In the Kitchen” column on the Food page that is in the paper most weeks.
And that’s where I’ll be more often. My husband likes that idea.
Thanks for the memories and the encouragement and even for setting us straight when we needed to be.