The Editor – Finding normal

by Jo Anne Embleton

The past eight months have been full of change, mostly due to a national coronavirus pandemic, and I’m sure many of you – like me – are ready to return to some semblance of normal life, like that before the month of March.

I think organizers of a number of different events are basing their hopes on that, too, scheduling events designed to bring folks outdoors and allowing them to be community again. The Cherokeean Herald staff, which is comprised of Penny and John Hawkins, along with me, recently has been collecting notices for events, like this month’s Scarecrow Trail, area fall festivals, even holiday happenings. If you turn to Page 8 of the Oct. 21, 2020, edition, you’ll notice a new community calendar, titled “What’s Happening.”

It’s designed to give y’all a singular source of information of events taking place in and around Cherokee County, and we hope it encourages groups or individuals to add to the content by telling us the when and where of their events. And, should the content loan itself, we’ll even be able to get a regular story out of it!

This weekend seems to have filled up quickly, and we hope that you’re able to get out and enjoy “normal” again, instead of dealing with COVID-19 fatigue.

That said, please please PLEASE be mindful of the COVID guidelines set by national health officials and endorsed by the Cherokee County Public Health Department: Simply put, if you have symptoms, stay home. Observe social distancing, regularly utilize face coverings, cover your mouth and nose when coughing, and wash-wash-wash those hands.

Most of this stuff is plain old common sense; if we want to find normal again, we must practice these measures so that all can remain healthy. I refuse to be an alarmist about a virus; however, my mama didn’t raise a fool, so I’ll be putting these practices into place, too.

On another topic, today marks my three-week anniversary at The Cherokeean, and while I'm enjoying learning more about Rusk, the curve is great, as the staff finds its footing, working together for the first time.

John and Penny are familiar faces to both Rusk and this paper. Penny, who has worked with the paper since the days it was owned by descendants of the founding Whitehead family, keeps us grounded with her knowledge and experience, while her husband is probably best known as radio personality John Robinhawk, the voice of “Talk Time,” KWRW-KTLU’s popular radio show.

Me? I’ve been a reporter for 30 years, starting as a cub in Kingsville, where I attended college. I have worked for different papers, including the local diocesan paper, and am thrilled to be able to work at the same kind of small-town paper that I grew up reading as a child in South Texas.

I am a staunch believer in community journalism: To me, a small-town paper is the only one who will ever care enough to tell a town's story … not necessarily just its trials and tribulations, but the kind of stuff that encourages YOU to take a pair of scissors to each week’s edition because you've found something you like, and you want to save it.

To be able to do this, we need your help. Send us your events, even if you only have a tentative date and title. Let us know, because it's something we can publicize for you.

I’m looking forward to growing The Cherokeean, and we hope that in upcoming weeks and months to reveal more.

In the meantime, I’ll be covering some of the events listed on our community calendar – just look for the girl with the press badge, taking tons of photos – and hope to meet some of you. And if you do get out, be mindful of your health by employing smart health practices!