Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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April 14, 2014

Index publisher to retire this month

By Mel Rhodes | Index publisher/editor

In 1990, I enrolled in a few classes at Weatherford College, one of them being Speech. The class changed the course of my life.

These long years later I can’t remember what my life-changing speech was about, but I do recall my prop was a big bag of garbage – clean stuff, of course, crumpled up paper, etc.

At some point during the presentation I pulled the bag from behind the podium and with great aplomb dumped its contents out on the floor.

This elicited snorts and giggles and a few confused looks, a smile from instructor Nancy McVean. But one fellow classmate saw something that prompted him to pull me aside after class.

He introduced himself as the advertising manager for the Mineral Wells Index and set about recruiting me as a salesperson. I told him I was a writer, not a salesperson; he told me newspapers had been known to use writers. And so it was that I came to be in the employ of the Index.

In six month’s time I traded the sales pitches and ad copy for a reporter’s notebook and started writing, covering various beats within the city and county. Then came editor positions and finally the publisher’s chair, which I’ve been spilling coffee on for 12 years now. (Note to successor, you will want a new chair.)

It’s not everyone who gets to publish his or her hometown newspaper. But I did.

I was born a couple of blocks from the Baker Hotel in Dr. Evans’ clinic, maybe literally in the shadow of the Baker when she cast her shadow out long and flat. I graduated Mineral Wells High School in 1971, starting high school the first year the district opened the new “domed” facility, which has since been replaced with the current high school.

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