OPINION COLUMNS

The 2014 highlight reel

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, December 31, 2014
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Know what would be cool?

If, at the end of every year, somebody – NFL Films, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino – put together a highlight video of our lives.

Bob Buckel

Bob Buckel

I have Facebook friends who post what they had for lunch. Certainly, lunch is a highlight of my day – but it takes more than a good calzone to make this video.

I don’t think New York Times reporters have anything on the Messenger when it comes to news. Yes, their beat is the world, while ours is just a slice of it.

But everything in the world can be found in our slice, if you look closely enough.

Looking closely is our job, our challenge, our privilege.

Getting to know you is the fun part. Times reporters probably don’t get to eat lunch with their subjects or sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” with them every week at the Lions’ Club.

What’s in my highlight reel from 2014?

  • mining the memories of veterans and their families, learning about medical procedures, water issues, fracking, bullying
  • meetings – getting to know school district and city movers and shakers
  • 11 – really 10-and-a-half – high school football games, seeing 737 points scored and feeling the heartbeat of a community
  • watching the loving hands of Beth Roper, crocheting sleeping mats for the homeless
  • hearing the gentle voice of Chico veteran Troy Thornton after an emotional visit to Iwo Jima
  • attending a Chamber luncheon with Bob Tallman, Trevor Brazile, Silvano Alves and other champions
  • picking the brains of business owners like Jimmie Miller, Mark Ary, Patti Gage, Doug Parr, Sue Ann Denton, Embry Hines
  • getting to visit with Decatur PD officer Richard Hale, who donated bone marrow to save a child’s life
  • seeing Alvord finally get its school zone flashing lights on Farm Road 1655, and H2X finally get into its new building
  • getting to know some of the folks who take their faith behind the bars of the Wise County Jail.

Everyone has a story. The best ones are usually the quiet, low-key people who are just going about their business, living their lives.

More often than we realize, those quiet lives are, in fact, extraordinary.

The highlight reel unspools.

Bob Buckel is editorial director for the Messenger.

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