The sudden loss of our Editor in Chief, Betsy Seale, speaks to the fragility of life. I, for one, have been at a loss for words as this reality struggles to sink in. Having had the honor of being a contributing writer to the Hamburger Square Post for the past 25 years, I’d like to share a few thoughts with you, her readers.
My family and I moved to Greensboro from Tampa, Florida on Christmas Eve of 1985. After a couple months of unpacking and settling in, I contemplated the state of my professional life and wrote down my top ten professional goals. In addition to re-establishing my professional practice, one of my life objectives was to write a newspaper column.
As luck would have it, I happened to be at Universal Printing on Spring Garden Street one day when the print shop owner suggested that I contact Betsy Seale about writing for the Hamburger Square Post. I called Betsy that very day, wrote my first two articles, and with few exceptions, this column has been published every month since October 1987. There is something to be said for writing down your goals.
For 25 years, Betsy Seale and I had an incredible working relationship. As I pause to consider what made us so compatible, these are the thoughts that come to mind.
It is rare to find a person who motivates with praise. Writers are a sensitive lot and I am no different. One secret to the success of our relationship was that Betsy never criticized my writing. This is a rare trait for anyone, let alone an editor.
It is rare to find a person whose professionalism is so inspiring. Each month like clockwork, deadlines were set, the paper was published, and all around Greensboro, stacks of the HSP showed up in shops and offices like gifts for all of us. While it was sometimes challenging for me to be creative and meet deadlines, seeing the paper in print provided constant inspiration to write again next month, and so it went for a quarter of a century.
It is rare to find a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Betsy was a historian, a journalist, and a visionary who wanted to chronicle the life and times of the people in the community in which she lived. I wanted a forum where I could talk about family life and relationships. Over the years, few people have left my office without taking home a copy of the Post. It has always been the paper that had a little something for everyone.
In her classic song, Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell sings the line, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” In truth, I have always valued and appreciated my relationship with Betsy and I will miss her terribly. It is a shocking thing to lose a friend, a colleague, and a mentor... but I will be forever grateful.
©Copyright, 2012, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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