By Guinn Sweet
A long time ago, English poet, Thomas Moore wrote, “Oft in the stilly night, ere slumber’s chain has bound me, fond memory brings the light of other days around me.” At my age, fond memories are just about all that I can recall; they are memories which come in the daytime! It was the news of the naming of Libby Cluett as news editor of the Index which stirred my “fond” memories this week. I was reminded of my own beginnings at the Index almost twenty years ago. I was following the late, great Thelma Doss, following her retirement, in writing a commentary column. Gosh, that was in 1993! Can you believe it?
After several retirements from the teaching profession, and still dissatisfied with nothing to do except house work, I met Lou Warren and the Senior Center. She asked me to talk to the editor of the Mineral Wells Index to see if it would be possible for them to print a “Senior News” each week. She expected me to write such a column. In fact, she made me an appointment to meet with Jenny Cockerham; and it is she of whom I first speak in this column.
I will have an awfully hard time forgetting Jenny Cockerham. Our first meeting brought me great intimidation at the meeting with so prestigious a position-holder as “Managing Editor.” I envisioned a high-falutin’ lady, but I kept the appointment anyhow. As I first approached the door pointed out to me as her office, I am not sure of what I expected to see. However, when I walked through the door I saw, sitting there behind a loaded desk, the biggest smile I had ever seen. Her smile fit the rest of her body, she was a very large lady, physically. During the interview, she encouraged me to write just what I felt comfortable with, while fitting the nature of the senior center’s needs still accommodating my writing style. Her entire interview so fed my ego that it forced me to turn it (my ego) sideways to get it through the door as I left! I left her office convinced that I would be one of the best writers that the Index ever had … and that I had a new friend.