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Terri Simon

The worst or best?

CareerCast.com recently published its 25th annual Jobs Rated Report, which ranks jobs based on work conditions, salary, stress level and hiring outlook. The report lists the Top 10 best and worst jobs.

Get a load of this ... No. 1 on the worst jobs list is newspaper reporter!

My first reaction was “Duh! Ya think?” Nobody will argue with the stressful conditions in which we work outside the office, the long hours, the deadlines, the often somewhat dangerous situations in which we put ourselves ... and let’s face it, it’s not the most lucrative position when it comes to lining our pockets.

But being a newspaper reporter has a lot of different facets. Probably the ones that are most awful are the ones that put my profession at the top of the list, however, there are quite a few other characteristics that might not be so obvious — facets that might just take us off that list entirely.

I could give you a ton of examples ... the myriad of wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to meet, the interesting things I’ve learned, the fun I’ve had on assignments, the tears that have ravaged my heart and soul during certain interviews/stories ... I could go on and on ...

Just the other night, I was having dinner with my mom, and she said she had something she wanted me to see. Mom had been going through some of my grandparents’ papers she had saved from long ago, and she ran across their wedding announcement printed in the Bureau County Republican in the 1920s.

Given the fact the newspaper clipping was more than 85 years old, it was still in good condition except for the yellowed and brittle paper. I had never seen this before. The article told of a couple I had only known as older people — not the young and vibrant newlyweds of whom the author had written.

“The bride (my grandmother) wore a lovely frock of canary yellow flat crepe with accessories to correspond, and her flowers were sweet peas,” the article said. Sweet peas? I knew my grandma loved sweet peas, but I didn’t know she carried them on her wedding day? Perhaps that’s why she loved them so.

“The home was attractively decorated in the bride’s chosen colors, canary and white, and there was a profusion of flowers, as well as nuptial emblems ...” I tried to wrap my head around the picture painted by the newspaper reporter’s words.

“(They) left last evening for a honeymoon trip through the east ... They will be at home after March 1 in an attractive new home, which is in readiness for them in Princeton.” What? “Through the East?” We could barely get Grandpa to drive to LaSalle!

The article went on to tell of my grandmother being “a trained nurse,” but it also said she helped hurricane victims in Florida. I never heard her speak of that. I wanted to know more. It referred to my grandfather as “a young farmer,” and it called him “prominent in various activities.”

It was so much fun to read. It offered me the opportunity to look at my grandparents in a completely different way ... all because of a newspaper clipping ... written 85-plus years ago by a newspaper reporter.

Everybody has a newspaper clipping/photo or two (or more) tucked away for safe keeping. It may be a birth announcement, an obituary, a wedding announcement, a column, a story ... The staff at the newspaper is proud to produce a important item that causes you to clip and save the moments of those who matter most to you.

OK, the stress and deadlines are dreadful at times, but the idea of you tucking away something from the newspaper that someone will discover many years from now and read with interest about a loved one from long ago ... well, somehow, that just doesn’t equate to the No. 1 worst job in the nation. What do you think?

Tonica News Editor Terri Simon can be reached at tsimon@tonicanews.com.

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