They say time flies when you’re having fun but at this stage of my life, it just seems to fly, period! The time that I’m referring to in this instance is my five-year relationship with the Navasota Examiner. My first article was published April 30, 2014, the first of many that has included news, features and the least expected of all, this column.
When I started covering the “city beat,” I had already been attending city council meetings as a regular citizen for nine-months. During that time, I would go home and post what took place on Facebook, at least the parts I understood. Anything to do with tax rates, drainage and traffic studies, I left out. Not so when reporting!
Given many of our subscribers were truly interested in city business, I had to accelerate the learning curve on those topics in order to report them.
News reporting has been a great education for me and it has made me a better citizen, but it has also presented a conflict between my mind and my pocketbook on numerous occasions. I can’t sit home and complain about what the city doesn’t provide when I understand, make that truly understand, how our city government is funded and how those services are paid for. Some things you just can’t unlearn.
Feature writing has been a personal blessing. I have been privileged to meet so many wonderful people throughout Grimes County who are doing, plan to do or have accomplished wonderful things in their lives. I’ve interviewed people who made history and some who will make history. Our county’s life stories run the gamut from the caretakers to the creators and any or all could be your neighbor.
As for “Connie’s Corner,” its conception was a random thought and the column continues to be just that. And when I think I’ve gone beyond absurd one week, I run into someone who absolutely loved that column. Those compliments are my Pulitzer prize!
I also have the pleasure of preparing “This Week in History,” which shares the headlines from the last 40 years. I love turning the pages of those old Examiner issues, seeing photos of the young faces of today’s senior community or reading about activities that once occurred in small town Navasota and the outlying communities that are casualties of the changing times.
Life in Navasota and Grimes County has been chronicled by a brotherhood and sisterhood of reporters of this newspaper since 1894. Pondering this milestone in my life, I am very proud to join those “quill and scroll historians” recording the story of Navasota and Grimes County for the enjoyment of future generations.
Connie Clements is a freelance reporter and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.