This week we bid farewell to one staff member, welcome another, and honor yet a third who, after more than four decades of dedicated service, is semi-retiring.
Leaving us is Eliot Sill, a talented young reporter, editor, and designer who has returned to his native Illinois to marry and eventually accompany his fiancée wherever she enters graduate school.
Although his first 1½ years of professional experience were here in small-town America, Eliot clearly has what it takes to become a successful major-market journalist. His deft writing style and dogged determination to tell complex stories as simply yet thoroughly as possible — something sources may not fully appreciate, though readers do — will take him far in this profession.
Arriving in his stead is another very gifted yet far more seasoned journalist, Phyllis Zorn, who like Eliot seeks to serve her adopted community not just by covering its news — both good and bad — but also by becoming an active member of it. And in her case, she actually prefers small markets to major ones.
A veteran of daily and weekly newspapers throughout Kansas and Oklahoma, Phyllis has a reputation for uncovering stories and relating unvarnished truth, all with a fervent compassion that doing so will help the community that she hopes becomes her permanent home realize its objectives.
Together with veterans David Colburn, Oliver Good, Rowena Plett, and Susan Marshall, plus newcomer Kelsey Unruh, Phyllis will help anchor Marion County’s largest, most experienced, and most widely read news team.
Neither arriving nor leaving but merely reducing his workload from herculean to something approaching what normal people do is Melvin Honeyfield, who will continue to design ads and pages but start doing a bit more fishing than commercial printing.
Fear not, however. Except for a brief period while he was in college, we haven’t published a newspaper without Melvin’s loyal and dedicated service to us and our customers since sometime in the 1960s, and we aren’t about to start doing so in 2016.
He’ll still be the heart and soul of our operation for as long as the lure of serving the community and his coworkers is at least as potent as the lures in his tackle box. We couldn’t put out this paper without him, and we’re not going to try.
Join us for an informal, come-and-go reception with cookies and soft drinks from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday to welcome Phyllis and congratulate Melvin.
— ERIC MEYER