Belated birthday wish

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This past Sunday, our talented photographer David Bell celebrated his 64th birthday. All of us from the editorial staff at Carroll County News took him to dinner, and it was a blast. That wasn't too surprising, though -- every day we work with David is a blast.

David was one of the first people I met when I started working here in 2014. He greeted me with a smile and a hug on my first day at the newspaper, telling me he was excited to have me come on board.

"You're going to do great, kiddo!" he told me.

Unlike many others, he didn't use the word "kiddo" to insult me. It was a term of endearment for him, a way for him to say "buddy" or "pal." That's when I realized how kind-spirited and welcoming he is. Once I had worked at the paper for a few weeks, I began to see his kindness in action.

One day, I came into work whining about how the air conditioner on my car stopped working. David didn't let me whine about it for long. He told me to drive to a local mechanic he knew and followed my car so I could ride back to the office with him. For most people, that would seem forceful. But David was just trying to be helpful, and I knew that.

A few weeks later, we were covering a school event in Green Forest. David stopped at Sonic on the way back from the event and ordered himself a drink. "What do you want?" he asked me. I told him, and he paid for our drinks without a word. Ever the gentleman, he has continued to do this when we cover events together.

Along with being kind, David is incredibly funny. He's the type of person who will tell a joke that he considers funny, and he won't care if no one else laughs with him. Many times during our coffee breaks, David has cracked everyone up because he's so committed to the jokes he tells. It's rarely about the joke, anyway. The delivery is what matters, and David knows how to deliver a joke properly.

His jokes truly highlight David's carefree attitude. He's a pure joy to be around because he's generally so happy about the life he's living. As a cynical person, I admire David for being able to look past all the bad things that can and do happen in life. He inspires me to be more joyful every day, especially on those days that drag on or end as badly as they started.

When people ask me how I like my job, I always say I love it. It might surprise them to know that the people I work with sometimes make the job even better than the work itself. David is one of those people. He's integral to our team. He's kind and reliable and hilarious. On the days David and I work together, I know I'm going to laugh at least once. Often, it's much more than that.

I could have written this column last week before David's birthday, but I thought he'd be more honored if I wrote it a few days late. In addition to his wonderful qualities, David always fails at being on time.

I'm a real stickler for timeliness, but even that doesn't bother me very much. In fact, I think we'd all be a little better if we were on David Standard Time.

Happy belated birthday, David!

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.