2017-11-22 / Opinions

Mountain Musings

Goodbye, John & giving thanks
by Kate Evans

I remember John Douglas calling me in January, 2000 asking if I could cover the Morgan Messenger school beat as reporter Jean Kiel Thatcher was moving out west. I’d worked with kids, written short stories, children’s stories, press releases and grants and had also taken some writing workshops and courses, but had no journalism background. John took a chance on me as a writer and under his wing as editor, I learned the ropes of being a news reporter.

I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, mentor and role model as a writer and journalist. John Douglas was a master writer and storyteller in every genre in which he wrote–hard news, murder mysteries, biography, history, features, blues reviews and more. John’s words were simple, eloquent and carefully chosen-expertly painting scenes, people and events, whether in fiction or non-fiction settings.

John was a trusted and accurate voice as a reporter, a fair-minded and respected editor and a man that cared deeply about the arts and his community. John was also a champion of the people and their rights. I was blessed to have worked with him and learned from him and am a much better person for having known him.

There are so many fond memories of the great times we had over the years-covering stories and many tough issues, performing at Morgan County Public Library benefits and Hancock Arts Council fundraisers that John organized and sharing laughs, ideas, music and movie reviews and views on the news of the day.

It’s hard to say goodbye to someone that was a big part of your life for so many years. John touched so many lives in this community and so many called him a friend. He will dearly be missed. I’ll always be grateful for John’s friendship, mentoring and encouragement.

People come into our lives and leave a part of themselves behind when they go-their thoughts, words, ideas, actions, hopes and dreams. It’s in our lives and memories that they live on.

Some may think that people’s lives cross by chance. I believe that it happens for a reason-that there is something that you’re meant to learn from those that enter your life, something that will help you to grow or find your way.

On this Thanksgiving Day, give thanks for all the people that have been in your life and that are in your life now-parents, spouses, children, other family members, friends and loved ones, colleagues, teachers and mentors. Be thankful for the love, affection, caring, hope, encouragement, nurturing, kindness, wisdom, courage and strength they’ve given you.

Be grateful for all the simple gifts of life-family, friends, music, art, pets, the beauty of nature, the comforts of home and being part of a caring community.

Give thanks for the opportunities and blessings you’ve had, for the gifts you’ve been given and for everyone that has been a part of your life, for we are each a product of all of these things.

Let your spirit shine each day so that the spirits of all who have touched your life will continue to shine on too.

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