Commentary by Editor Pam Horne: Hatís off to the mentors, kudos to my family
By Pam Horne, Managing Editor
It has been quite a week at the Horne home. My children have really not known me as a “full-time employee” for the past ten years. When I shared my plans to return to work, Griffin and Garrison seemed reasonably excited, but definitely not impressed. My youngest just questioned me about my hours—hard question to answer in this business.
My oldest seemed genuinely relieved that revenue would be on the rise. And my husband seemed to feel the same relief. I am very fortunate to have the support of three strong-willed males who, whether they realize it or not, have totally trained me to be the new Managing Editor of the Williamson Herald. Growing up with one sister and no brothers delayed my grasp of exactly what I signed up for twenty years ago this month when my oldest son was born. God does work in mysterious ways.
As I begin this new adventure, I am very thankful for a community full of inspiring and delightful people, who have looked after me and my family. And, I am very optimistic about working with such a diligent group of folks at the Herald, starting with Derby Jones, who I know has the heart of this community on his radar every day, every hour.
I am looking forward to wearing an old familiar hat again, one I took off several years ago. Fortunately, the hat still fits, maybe even a little better because of the wear and tear that comes from living in the same place for a long time. The hat also bears the shared memories of time spent with local friends and mentors. Allow me to selfishly tip my hat to a few people who really and truly made it possible for me to use my craft in Williamson County.
Nancy Williams taught me how to write a 30-word lead at the Review Appeal almost 24 years ago. Mindy Tate taught me to appreciate the “weekly” deadline at the Franklin Journal, which may be trickier than people realize. Veteran journalist Jim East taught me to admit mistakes, fix them—if there is time and space—and then move on. Tenacious Tennessean State Editor George Zepp taught me the art of dates, times, and focus, which means you stare expressionless and nod a great deal. Williamson Leader founder Bailey Leopard taught me never to give up no matter how bad you feel. Williamson Medical Center’s Ron Joyner taught me the value of believing in yourself and others, even if they do not always agree with you. Publisher and Methodist historian Andy Miller taught me that people really do appreciate the published word and the preservation of forgotten stories. And from Educator and author Inge Smith, I learned to take life one day at a time, loving people back as they love you.
Most recently, I gained a new mentor — a six-year-old boy — who has only known the tiny town of Altamont, Tennessee in Grundy County. There he loves his seven dogs, mom, dad, and two brothers. He taught me the art of the smile and the positive release laughter provides. He struggles daily to say each word, sometimes frustrated when he cannot speak the way you and I do with ease, but he never stops trying to communicate.
During my weeklong mission trip to the Cumberland Mountains with youth and adults from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, I received mentoring from Adrian on the “mountain.” He taught me that even if you can not do something well, God doesn’t let you down. He provides you with someone to help you through the journey. I hope that my days at the Herald will be of benefit to the life of Williamson County. I look forward to all the input I can get. Thank goodness none of us have to depend only on ourselves.
Posted on: 7/31/2013