Daresay - Deb Meissner

Daresay - Deb Meissner

Stories of the valley are heartwarming

Deb reflects on a full year in the newspaper business

As the year winds down, one of the things we do at the paper is review the year to choose the stories, events and people that made headlines and notable news which shaped our lives throughout the last year.

As I have been looking through the year, I am struck by the families, people and events I have covered for the Our Town feature section of the paper.

I have been privileged to have been invited into lives to tell the stories of people from all walks of life in the Bulkley Valley. I am honoured and grateful for those who have allowed me to tell their stories.

We can never print all of what we are told. We try to encapsulate, but it is hard as the stories are fascinating, heartwarming and intriguing, and always more than I actually have room for on a page.

I am grateful to all of those who have treated me so warmly, opened up their homes and lives, so I could share their stories, as best I could.

Winding down the year also reminds me I have learned much this past year about producing a paper every week.

The paper business is fast paced and deadlines always loom, story ideas come in quickly, sometimes more than the two of us can cover.

After a year now, I’m just starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of things. When I came on here I didn’t know even the basics of the paper business, I just liked to write.

I have learned my American spelling, random capitalization and punctuation drives my editor crazy.

But the one that really gets him, that I do for fun now and then, is write a lead like “an event was held.”

Thom goes wild over those, and I can’t help hearing him in my head say “that’s not a lead,” (with animation) when I write something that way. His reaction makes me laugh out loud.

Thom has taught me many things in just one year, and I am a better writer for it.

I appreciate his never ending patience and willingness to teach this novice the gist of a story, and how to be a more objective writer.

My Publisher, Grant and I go way back to our days at BVLD Radio, many moons ago.

We worked together there for 13 years, me “on air,” and Grant heading up our ad department.

We had many laughs there, and now, at the paper, I enjoy his wit and thoughtfulness and he is a great “idea man” when I can’t seem to wrap my head around something.

There are not many actual community newspapers left these days, especially in small towns. I understand why, as online competition is fierce.

But like many of our readers, I like to sit down with a coffee and read through the actual paper and read what has been happening in my little part of the world.

We all appreciate the fact that you do too.

When I look back, it has been a challenging year for so many reasons. Weather, politics, COVID-19, and personal losses, that we have all endured. As a community we have been divided at times, and other times I have seen people pull together to support one another in beautiful ways.

My hope is that we continue to move forward together, supporting one another and showing tolerance and understanding. And as you continue to invite us into your homes to tell your stories you know how much we appreciate that you do.

I know I certainly do and thank you from my heart.