A Monday tradition

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mondays are the busiest day of the week for the news department here at the Carroll County News. That's because Monday is when we work on our Midweek edition, which is due at the press on Monday night.

Sometimes, Monday stretches past midnight as we try to make sure that we give our readers the latest local news.

I would be lying if I said I don't grumble about Mondays. I do. Some Mondays are pretty tough -- much more so than Thursdays, when we produce the Weekend edition. The Weekend paper is typically a little smaller, and it includes some standing features that help us fill it up. Plus we've had a couple of days to prepare for it, which helps a lot.

We don't necessarily start completely from scratch on Monday, but a lot of times we come pretty close. Still, we manage to produce a paper every week thanks to some folks who are dedicated to their jobs and have a team-first attitude.

As a matter of fact, it's those people who actually make Monday worth looking forward to.

I've worked at a lot of newspapers, and I've worked with some very talented, wonderful people. But I have never worked anywhere with a staff like this newspaper. It was one of the things I noticed very quickly when I came here more than two years ago, and it's one of the things that made coming here the best career decision I've ever made.

One of my favorite parts of my weekly routine is lunch on Monday with the entire Berryville newsroom staff. That might sound like a lot of folks, but really it's just the four of us -- reporter Kelby Newcomb, sports editor Ty Loftis, photographer David Bell and myself. I don't know exactly when this tradition started, but it was sometime before Kelby joined our staff. He came to the CCN after our former reporter Samantha Jones was promoted to associate editor. Sam works out of our Eureka Springs office now, overseeing the news production at the Lovely County Citizen, so she doesn't get to join us for lunch often, but it's always fun when she does.

Our Monday lunches aren't something we HAVE to do. It's something that we do because we enjoy each other's company and we all like and respect each other. We're all of different ages, and we have different views on religion, politics and any number of other subjects. But none of that matters, and no subject is off limits. The fellowship and conversation are always a welcome break from Monday's stresses.

It's not just lunch on Mondays, either. I spent the afternoon of Christmas day with David and his wonderful family, and not for the first time. A couple of weeks ago, we all traveled to Fayetteville to eat a late lunch at the Catfish Hole and see a matinee showing of "Bad Santa 2."

We were all together again on New Year's Eve for a very special occasion: Sam's wedding to her wonderful groom, Gideon. David served as the official wedding photographer, and Kelby was a member of the bridal party. Ty and I were there, too, and we couldn't be happier for Sam and Gideon.

I'm thankful every day to be here, and to have the opportunity to work among friends. It really doesn't feel that much like work, even on Mondays.

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Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com.