Last week I took the opportunity to use this space to share a bit of the “Newsroom Perspective” as we head into yet another busy time in our communities.
Within that piece I also shared a personal story, as I was able to attend the 125th OUHS Anniversary celebration as the date of an alumnus versus the newspaper girl.
What I failed to mention, yet hoped all would gather is ... I’m human. Broken down more simply, I’m not perfect.
That quickly became apparent Wednesday as I learned I had Dale Clipper’s age crossed with Francis O’Brien’s in the story. Rather than run a correction in this week’s paper I’d rather use this space to offer my sincerest apology to Coach Clipper and all who care for him. I happen to be very close to one such person whose life you touched as a coach and understand you to be one amazing legend (regardless of age). So, my apologies for the slip up on that detail.
I also failed to mention last week, that while I did not have my camera that night, I was still responsible for the story. So as the party circled around me from my seat at Table 10, my recorder rolled capturing side conversation, laughter, as well as Pete Simoncini’s opening program, acknowledging the Legends being honored.
This is not, of course, to serve as an excuse for the error but rather explanation. It happens.
Human nature is a funny thing. Some simply like to lead with what’s wrong and skip past the fact of good stuff. We’re used to this in our business, hence our beaming smiles when we cross someone offering kudos.
Now, with my apology to Coach Clipper handled, and explanation aside, I’d like to offer my own set of kudos.
The week leading up to the Anniversary celebration was crazy busy for this newspaper girl. It was nothing, however, compared to the months and months (I think I heard 10) of preparation and dedication given to the anniversary by its committee, most especially co-chairpersons.
Leading the helm of the 125th OUHS Anniversary were Charlyn Bairos, Julia Haidlen and Jan Gilbert. Together the fearless trio led an equally dedicated group of a dozen volunteers committed to see this be not just a success, but memorable.
As an attendee and non-alum, I can honestly say, I felt not just lucky, but privileged to be sitting in the company of the other 700 who happened to score tickets to the sold out celebration.
As the newspaper girl, not once did either of these three reach out to me for recognition or spotlight – that’s a true leader. Not to be confused, calls were made and text messages sent and each time I was diverted to someone who would “best speak to that for the committee.”
I did however get to feature a photo of them on our front page the issue before. That’s thanks largely in part to the City of Oakdale for awarding them a Proclamation, committee member Melinda Owen for stating they should be the ones featured and of course our editor, who would not simply print a photograph of the Proclamation. We like to feature people in the paper, more times than not.
These ladies and their team covered it all. Their work was done so well in fact that the event was not only sold out, but over sold and they made it work. Truthfully, I do know a number of people who were not fortunate enough as I to get a seat in the company of those 700.
Let’s be honest a sell out at a “reunion” of sorts, just does not happen. Granted it was over the course of 125 years, but who would have thought that so many people would travel to attend such a gala?
Well, not only did they, but much to their delight they were treated to three days of activity focused solely around the 125 celebration, because of this team.
So as a non-alum, who lucked into not only seats at the party, but three days of fun, thank you ladies. The amount of work, the hundreds of hours spent and the sleepless nights (yeah I know about that, too) benefitted so many and we are grateful.
You know when you’re sitting at a table and hearing, “we should do this every year, but in a place that holds more people,” you have truly hit a home run. We all know reunions are fun, but that is truly a night and a week, I was personally sorry to see come to a close. Well done fearless trio, truly well … Well done.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 847-3021.