Sometimes Jenny was funny, sometimes she was downright audacious. There were other times when she expressed outrage for some of the social ills that we both saw as overcoming our world. Her dislike and criticism were both fair and honest, while also seeing the humor in life. She was a professional writer, a fair “boss,” a wise advisor and a gentle critic. Our friendship as well as our professional relationship had basis in intelligence and sensitivity.
Jenny was destined to live only a comparatively few months after we began sharing the newspaper writing. She made it bearable by telling me stories of my predecessor, Thelma Doss, now retired. Without demanding any particular level of performance, she wisely outlined what was good and what was not so good in the writing life of a columnist. She did not allow me to be ONLY a reporter for the Senior Center. She asked permission from Lou Warren, center director, to allow me to expand, or rather to add, to my news column, other areas of commentary, including humor, criticism and other things to entertain.
You ask why I am writing this “eulogy to Jenny” so many years later? I tell you in one short sentence. We have a new FEMALE editor at the Index. I know, I know, the local news is local news and anybody can do it well … and she has shown that she is a skilled interviewer and writer. She has local as well as national news items in her work. She is sufficiently able to be both detached while “reporting the facts, ma’am,” and thoughtful [news] editor of the Mineral Wells Index, and she has established herself over an appreciable length of time as one who will stick to the job assigned and outdo some others who have proved less able/willing to do the jobs assigned, and make them factual, interesting and informative.
In addition, I have told her all the above in the hope and expectation that she will be of help to me in my column writing, by correction of my spelling and word usage; and also her thinking of attention-getting headline statements or titles. I know that she will be happy to do that. Huh? You will, Libby, Huh? Right? Right!!