By LIBBY CLUETT
As some in the community may already know, the Index's former ad manager and ace senior advertising representative, Mary Jo Watson, has decided to hang up her hat and retire – sort of – after 34 years selling ads for newspapers.
She officially retired in mid-January. But, if actions speak louder than words, she hasn't fully retired. She continues to walk through the Index's back door several times each week to work on selling advertisements for the Index's publication the “North Texas Star.”
Watson, honored at a retirement party at Palo Pinto Nursing and Rehab – one of her long-time clients – recalls a long history, not just with the Index, but in newspaper and media advertising (she once worked at a radio station, too).
“I've seen so many changes through the years,” she said, recalling when, at the Index, they had to manually wax down ads and used proportion wheels. She also recalls Velox – a type of photographic paper, used to make a photo-negative of the newspaper page, which became synonymous with the newspaper process in the mid-to-late 1900s.
A Whitt/Perrin native, Watson first worked at the Index in 1994, after moving back to the area with her children Lacy and Brian. They moved from Livingston, Texas, after her husband, Darrell Watson, died in 1992. In Livingston, she had worked in newspaper advertising since about 1979.
When she started at the Index, Mel Rhodes, publisher and managing editor, was a reporter. He has worked with her in several capacities.
“Losing Mary Jo as a full-time salesperson was no small 'bump in the road' for the Index,” said Rhodes. “She has long been an important asset to this newspaper, someone you could turn to in a pinch and know that if it was humanly possible she would deliver.