By David Corcoran, editor
The Glenville Democrat & Pathfinder
Our nation’s unemployment rate has dropped to about a 3.0 low, but everywhere one seems to walk or drive in commercial areas, there are “Help Wanted” signs displayed —- a great many of them.
Moreover, this nationwide phenomenon has also hit home to us in Glenville. We have seen an abundance of these signs and even one at the Glenville newspapers’ office. We just need an employee who can type (50 words/minute), write coherently, and learn the basics of journalism, business, and advertising. Our job can also be made part-time, if a couple of qualified applicants step forward.
The “Help Wanted” signs were never used at this newspaper and other area businesses about 20 years ago. Back then, the Glenville State College (now a University) English, Journalism, and Business students were knocking on our doors weekly … until we editors would give them a job. As a result, we put out many memorable editions back then, even without the World Wide Web, which we occasionally refer to today.
In fact, John Clise, a Weston area political candidate this year, and two other Glenville State students came forward for part-time employment and they found the weekly newspaper experience to be quite useful for their futures. John created his own newspaper website in his native Flatwoods, while the two others secured newspaper jobs in Parkersburg.
Then, about a decade after the above three gents graduated, a lady student came aboard and won a 1st Place Award for her personal columns in the WV Press Association’s annual writing contest. Later after graduation, she told me that she had secured a similar journalist’s position in South Carolina with greater pay. She said that the publisher there had been impressed with her Glenville experience in writing news stories and commentary, in selling ads, and in circulating our newspaper. She had learned it all in her two years with us, so congrats to her.
In addition to students, Senior Citizens have worked for us in the past. They bring to our newspaper’s plate a wide range of experiences, most of which can be related to this rural area. Their maturity and knowledge would be beneficial to any county business. Among these latter folks, there have been college professors, a school teacher, and several supermarket employees.
Now, on to another point: Why work for a weekly newspaper?
Well, why not!
Afterall, you get to help many different well deserving groups in Gilmer County and the surrounding area. The local newspaper aids each organization in attaining its goals with the general public. Such groups benefiting from our paper are the Volunteer Fire Departments, the Historical Society, Cedar Creek State Park, Recreation Center, VFW and American Legion Posts, Veterans Parade & Program, the area’s churches, West Virginia State Folk Festival, Easter Egg Hunt, Christmas Parade, Aqua-aerobics, youth sports, etc.
Additionally, the newspaper reports on our local Board of Education, Glenville City Council, Gilmer County Commission, Gilmer Public Library, Gilmer Public Service District, and any other public body that may, from time to time, need their initiatives published for the general public’s interests. Moreover, if we’ve missed any public body wanting a regular published report, we editors would be happy to oblige, but only if we have an adequate staff.
Added to the above, we like reporting on Glenville State University’s happenings. Our campus liaison is Mr. Dustin Crutchfield, who is the Public Relations Director. We editors are pleased with the breath of his overall reporting, and so are you alumni out there. Also, Mrs. Kathy Gilbert, the GSU Fitness Coordinator, keeps the public informed of fitness activities at the University, most of which are of low or no cost. Finally, our longtime and busy Sports Editor, Jamie Mullins, reports on the GSU’s sports teams, including the 2022 National Champion Lady Pioneers. Also, she worked up three Special Sports Sections during this past academic year.
In most communities statewide, the weeklies have given up writing Editorials, mainly not to peeve advertisers and subscribers. We editors, however, believe that editorial writing is necessary for communities — as a whole — to move forward in spite of the obstacles, like COVID-19, floods, etc. As a result, County Editor Myra Chico Miller provides the long view of growing up in Glenville, plus “Myra’s Musings” and the Republican viewpoint and content, as well. Social/Web Editor Sara Wise keeps us up to date with social events and news here. General Manager Dave Corcoran, Jr., covers public meetings, fires, wind and rain storms, and the like. Finally, Dave Corcoran, Sr. writes the Democrat editorials and the “Corcoran Column.”
After this staff review, you may ask: “Why is there a ‘Help Wanted’ need at the newspapers?”
The answer is simple because both Sara Wise and Dave, Jr. are leaving very soon. They have both found better jobs elsewhere. Most notably, it has never been my practice to try to hold back employees from finding their dream jobs. Sara has a wide range of talents in business, advertising, and writing, while Dave Jr. excels in writing, computer repair, and programming setup. They will make excellent employees or managers, whichever jobs they aspired to in securing the new positions.
Added to the above, our State Capitol Correspondent Delegate Brent Boggs is retiring this year and his timely reviews of the legislative happenings always filled one-half of the Editorial Page. We editors, of course, wish him well in whatever his next venture will be.
So now you see who is left at the newspapers: Myra and this Sr. Editor, a Republican and Democrat casting grief at each other, but with no one to settle us down. (Haha!) On the other hand, Myra will soon be taking long weekend vacations in South Carolina to find and buy a Retirement Home. As you readers know, Myra loves the beach, the sand, the sun, and they are all inseparable.
Hence, in a year or so, this Sr. Editor might be the only one left at the Glenville Democrat & Pathfinder newspapers. I can’t say that I haven’t done that before, but having a “one man show” in newspapering weekly is, believe me, no fun. I was working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, typing, attending public meetings, selling ads, and writing stories. In my early publishing-editing years, I’m surprised that I didn’t have a heart attack. Fortunately, a previous employee at the paper in Southern West Virginia returned to help me out and to save the day until I could find more adequate staff members.
Now I’m not saying I couldn’t do this once again, but if I have to, I’ll probably be a goner! (Sad face!)
Another option is to sell the newspaper as the previous owner did to oblige me 26 years ago. Sadly, I’ve had a couple of potential buyers email and talk to me. I wasn’t impressed because neither one wanted to live in Glenville. Oh my, I guess that we aren’t a “garden spot” for living and working in the Mountain State.
If you are interested in any of the above mentioned jobs, just call the office at 304-462-7309 or me at 304-904-3324 in the afternoons. I will be back in town, with my medical treatments being completed, by West Virginia State Folk Festival time.
Once again, I will tell local true tales and invite the public to describe their own at the Historical Society’s “Ghost Stories Open Mic.” Until then or next week, have a Healthy, Happy Weekend, and keep reading this newspaper!***
The Gilmer County Historical Society meets from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on each Wednesday. Right now they are planning an Arts & Crafts Show for that Fri.-Sat. Mrs. Carol Wolfe will demonstrate Basket Weaving at 10 a.m. on both days.
Also, volunteer guides are needed for the Historic Holt House Museum Tours. Call Karen at 304-462-5065. Plus, members are asked to cook our late past president, Marion Reed’s Ammonium Cookies for the Folk Fest. Yum, yum, yum!