Newspaper strives to share submissions

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, September 13, 2014

The topics of this column take a wide range from week to week. One thing any regular columnist will tell you is that regardless of the schedule you follow, monthly, weekly or daily, the time between writings always seems to move faster.

I get ideas for columns by reading stories in The Daily Leader, from conversations with customers, subscribers, friends and family members. I also try to read other newspapers and have several favorite columnists that I continue to find encouragement and learn from regularly. I have also learned that the more I write, the easier it gets to push a column out. The less I write, the easier it is to decide not to write.

This week I am writing about some of the feedback I get from readers. The majority of the feedback is positive, and some is not so positive. Both can be change agents for our community.

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Gwen Case a sixth-grade teacher at Lipsey School enjoyed my column on reading. She told me she liked the quote I used from a bumper sticker that read, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” I support our classroom teachers and think more of us should do the same. We should let them know more frequently as a means of encouragement. Case told me that she had placed my column on the wall of her classroom. That’s territory where, to my knowledge, I have not been before. This puts the pressure on me to be sure I continue to write useful columns.

This teacher also told me that she would like The Daily Leader to use photos of her students while learning. She thinks the paper should highlight more of our community’s students’ hard work, and she is willing to provide the photos. I have always felt that if someone cares enough to expend the effort to share photos and stories, if possible, we will use their contributions.

Brookhaven Postmaster Richard Rogers responded to my column about the sidewalk issue at the front door of the Historic Downtown Post Office. I felt that this facility is such an important part of downtown Brookhaven that the City of Brookhaven should be a good neighbor and make the repairs and seek reimbursement later. Postmaster Rogers told me in an email last week that the rainy weather had slowed the planned repairs, but they should be completed by the end of September. This improvement will be a positive for our downtown.

I again urge the to development of a plan to improve all sidewalks. Some sidewalks are in very bad need of repair and may project the image that Brookhaven lacks civic pride. I know that is not the case. We need to change that perception to one that better reflects the past and present pride we have for our community.

Last, but certainly not least, a very kind and sweet 98-year-old lady mailed me a handwritten letter. She asked me to help her inform the community of a burden Christ had put on her heart. In a phone conversation she told me did not want her name included because she believes that the glory should go to God and not to her. Our policy for letters to the editor requires authentication and a signature. Again, if someone cares enough to send a request, we should, if possible, include in the paper. I will honor her request for anonymity and include her request here.

She wrote that the Lord Jesus spoke to her and asked her to write a letter and tell his people to “Blow the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in My Holy Mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord cometh for it is nigh at hand” from Joel 2:1. She instructs us to read more of Joel and heed its’ warning. She goes on to tell me that she was born in Pearlhaven and moved to the country where she takes care of herself. I am pleased to help this 98-year-old believer spread the word, as she believes she was instructed to do.

If you have something you’d like The Daily Leader to address, please let us know. We work very hard to get those items you submit into your newspaper.

Otis Raybon is the publisher of The Daily Leader. Contact him at or (601) 833-6961.