By Tony D'Imperio
Clarion Mt. Morris Editor
I was shocked, fumbling for words when Clarion
Publisher Corrin Strong phoned on Monday, telling me that the
newspaper is closing and this would be the last issue! Corrin
invited me to write this final reflection.
Even before I moved back to Mount Morris, I read the Clarion
Newspaper when I visited with my late mother, a Mount Morris
resident and a subscriber.
I grew up in Mount Morris, had a career as a teacher and school
principal with the Greece Central School District for nearly
30 years, then took early retirement. My wife Louise and I moved
from Greece, NY into our Mount Morris house in December, 1998---back
to my roots.
In Corrin Strong's December 10, 1998 column entitled Ya'all
come now, he announced that next Thursday we will
be having our annual Christmas Party. We haven't found the time
to send out formal invitations just yet, but please consider
Pretty women are invited to attend, especially if you're
single. I'm almost single myself now, and this could be part
of something big. For maximum impact, please wear a red dress!
My sister, Carol Mixon, Louise and I---three new people, strangers
to the area and not above being playful---thought that there
would be some shock value and fun if the women wore red dresses
and attended the party.
It worked! Corrin Strong was speechless (As you know, it doesn't
happen often.) for a few minutes, and his face turned as red
as the dresses; the shy part of him kicked in! We introduced
ourselves to Corrin, and as the evening unfolded, conversation
becoming more comfortable.
I asked him why the Mount Morris Page of the Clarion didn't
have a columnist/reporter any longer. He said that no one has
come forth since the last person left.
I told Corrin that I had both an aptitude for and enjoyment
of writing, and I believed that there could be more representation
of Mount Morris on its Clarion Page. He agreed, and getting
the hint, asked me to send him a sample of my writing. The rest
In the column named By a Dam Site, I entitled my
first piece I've returned to my roots, in which
I introduced myself. Averaging one article a week in a little
over eight years, I've written nearly 400 pieces---both features
and news reports---with the intent of 'promoting' Mount Morris:
looking for the good things that happen here and working to
offset a reputation that is often undeserved.
Many Mount Morris people have called me directly to let me know
of some event that I might want to 'cover.' To them, I say thanks;
you've extended my eyes and ears.
Corrin Strong was always favorable to my being a self-starter;
of finding stories through my own initiative. I don't recall
any of my pieces ever being rejected or edited---maybe a recommended
headline here and there.
Former Clarion Reporter Howard Appell was always appreciative
of my work; he supplied perspective on topics and taught me
journalism rules. Beth Emley and I communicated well on fitting
Mount Morris into her weekly news list.
Graphic Artist Kevin McGarvey, with his superlative computer
skills, was always friendly, courteous, cooperative and patient,
helping me with his computer wizardry when my e-mail texts or
photos didn't 'go through.'
And then there's Office Manager Vera Gleason: Without her, phone
messages would probably go unattended and subscribers wouldn't
get their newspapers. Plus, she's got a great sense of humor!
Finally, I thank those readers of my articles who took the time
to compliment my work.