*

Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

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

Opinion

Saying goodbye to Bob

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Everybody at Carroll County News has their Bob story. After all, Bob Moore is so much more than our boss. Heís an avid hiker, proud husband, loving father and grandfather, quick-witted storyteller and a big fan of all things martial arts. I canít count how many times weíve been talking and I forgot I was talking to my boss.

In one notable instance, the two of us traveled to Little Rock for an award presentation. Our local winner of AT&Tís texting and driving essay contest won the big prize, which meant we were all treated to a luncheon and meet and greet.

Driving to the office early that morning, I debated drinking coffee. If I drank too much, weíd have to make several stops at questionable gas stations. If I didnít have any caffeine at all, I didnít know how Iíd manage to stay awake. And then there was Bob, talking my ear off with such excitement that I couldnít help but feel excited too.

I stayed wide awake the whole time, listening to Bobís life story and asking the kind of questions thereís never enough time for on an average day. Lucky me, this wasnít an average day at all. I had all the time in the world to hear Bobís stories, jokes and occasionally a little wisdom, too.

He talked about his time working in Searcy and how he moved to Berryville to run the newspaper. He described how his wife, Linda, has always kept him grounded. He said his marriage was especially important during times of tragedy, he and Linda taking turns helping each other cope with unexpected and all-too-expected losses.

That day, I learned thereís a lot more to Bob than advertising sales and martial arts knowledge. I had always known how supportive he was to all his employees. Thatís something that never changed. From the moment I started working at Carroll County Newspapers in 2014, I felt supported by everyone on the team, including my bosses Bob and Scott.

Thatís a big deal. Anybody who has worked for a controlling, nit-picky boss knows how good it feels to slip into a comfortable work environment where the supportive culture starts from the top. Bob knows how to give the type of praise that makes you want to do even better.

Iíll never forget sitting in the break room of our old office, that big pink building next to Kerusso. I was sipping a cup of coffee and Bob was pouring one. He mentioned a story I wrote on the Eureka Springs High Schoolís first musical, Annie, Jr. He said he felt like he knew the kids in the story, even though he had never met any of them.

ďIt was really good,Ē he said. ďYou have to enter it in the contest.Ē

As expected, his instincts were spot on. That story ended up being my first big win in the feature category of the Arkansas Press Associationís Better Newspaper Contest, something Bob knew months before the contest accepted entries.

If you ask Bob about his leadership philosophy, heíll tell you he hires good people and lets them do their thing. Itís rare for him to give editorial suggestions. When he does, itís important and we listen. This is our last week to listen to any of his suggestions, as he is retiring on Oct. 1. Scott is taking over as general manager, and I am certain heíll keep leading us in the right direction.

Still, I find myself feeling sad this week. I said it before and Iíll say it again. Bob isnít just our boss. Heís a caring person whose jokes I will miss deeply. Heís understanding and kind. Heís not afraid to give someone a second chance or tell someone a hard truth.

Congratulations on retirement, Bob! I will miss you, but I know youíre on to bigger things Ö namely, cleaning out the garage and working toward your very first hole-in-one. Thank you for the encouragement, jokes and all the memories. I will never forget you.