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Saturday, July 30, 2016

The unpredictability of newspaper work

Posted Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 3:11 PM

My first night at the Daily Mail was a memorable one -- Nov. 2, 2010, covering Vicky Hartzler's defeat of Congressman Ike Skelton, which was especially notable because Skelton was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. It's been interesting ever since, especially the night of Feb. 25, when an enormous fire leveled the NAPA store on East Walnut. Just after Ralph Pokorny, Lynn Wade and I returned to process the photos and write the stories, the power was knocked off; but to our relief it came back on in a half-hour or so and we were able to get the paper out.

The unpredictability of newspaper work has been a big factor in keeping me in it in Texas, Colorado and now Missouri since April 8, 1969, when as a West Texas A&M senior I reported for my first day at the Amarillo Globe-News. Stints followed at the Grand Junction, Colo., Daily Sentinel, Abilene Reporter-News, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Snyder Daily News, Lamesa Press-Reporter, Colorado City Record, Odessa American and Midland Reporter-Telegram. I was also an English teacher and radio disc jockey for a few years in the 1990s.

Writing poetry and short stories has been a parallel interest and my wife Ruth, editor of the Fort Scott Tribune, and I just put a couple of my efforts on Amazon.com through Kindle Direct Publishing -- a crime novellete called "The Little Red Footstool" and "The Girls of Shiloh and Other Poems." Check them out if you get the chance and let me know what you think.

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James R. Campbell
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