The Norman Transcript

April 7, 2013

Remembering a great journalist

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Earlier in the week I had one of the biggest thrills of my journalism career. I was named city editor of The Norman Transcript.

After I kept asking the higher-ups if this wasn’t a late April Fool’s Day joke, I did what came naturally. I called my husband. And then I called my mom. Then we celebrated the only way the Adkisson family knows how to celebrate — we ordered pizza. The dogs were very pleased as they know when the doorbell rings and the pizza changes hands that sooner or later, I’m going to give them a hunk of pizza crust. I usually don’t let them down.

The responsibility of being city editor is one that I’m eager to take on. I’ve got a great group of coworkers, wonderful support from my bosses and have the pleasure of working in a great community.

First order of business with my new position was to clean out the office I would soon be occupying. I’ve worked at the Transcript for eight years and never once have I seen any scrap of trash or paper exit the office that I now call home. So, one afternoon in between phone calls and stories, I stood at the door of that office, took a deep breath and I went in.

I really wasn’t sure what I’d fine. Anything was possible. One of the more exciting finds was when I unearthed a laptop from the early 1980s. Most of the younger staff asked me how to use such prehistoric equipment. They seemed shocked when I said I hadn’t a clue and that in 1983 I was merely a third-grader. Of course some of them had to add they weren’t even born in 1983.

Also, there were a few letters addressed to some of the former occupants of this office. Ed Montgomery was one of them.

My first memory of Ed and this office was one Saturday afternoon while I was working the copy desk. I had been busily working on pages and not paying a lot of attention to my surroundings. It had to be a good hour after I was here that I looked over and saw Ed. I’m not sure what he was writing that day, but by the look on his face of pure concentration, I’m sure it was another masterpiece.

At that time, I hadn’t been working here that long. I had seen Ed on occasion, but had never really had a conversation with him. Ed finished his story, way before deadline I’m sure, and left after we exchanged a few pleasantries. Ed’s health declined quickly after our short encounter on that Saturday afternoon and that might have been one of the last times I saw Ed Montgomery in The Norman Transcript building.

I know I’ll never quite fill the shoes of Ed Montgomery, and I’m personally glad he wasn’t here to witness some of the items that I either tossed in the recycling bin or the trash bin, but I do take great pleasure in knowing that the very desk I’m now working on was once the perch of a great journalist.

Shana Adkisson


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