View from First Street

By Julie Farley

“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.” — Charles Kettering

Charles Franklin Kettering (1876 –  1958) was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents.

These words spoken by Charles Kettering bring to mind the ever changing world that we live in  and the opportunities that we have to make each day satisfying, enjoyable, and prosperous. In the new year, there is change here at the Independent, and it comes in an effort to ensure stability for the future. I have granted the ownership of this newspaper to my daughter, Jennifer Lane. She has assumed the duties as owner and publisher. I will continue indefinitely as editor.
Jennifer is a certified and licensed occupational therapist — college trained for that career. However, through the years she expressed an interest in keeping this newspaper in the Hurford family for as long as possible.
Two and a half years ago she felt God was impressing on her heart to have more time at home and to be more centered with her family. Even though she loved working at her position in the Williamson County school district, she left it to serve another purpose. To make a little money, Jennifer began working for the Independent part-time bringing a fresh approach to graphic design, community news coverage, and photography.
Jennifer has natural writing skills like her grandfather, Noel E. Hurford. She has a way with words and a tender heart to pen those words with emotion, She has an eye for appealing photography…like her grandfather. She is in the right place for those natural born gifts.
Jennifer also has the energy and brain power to tackle technological issues that are so prominent in today’s newspaper production. That is an area where I struggle, so Jennifer has been an asset in that area, too.
With all of this positive change in this new year, there has been some negative due to financial strains. In order to ensure that this newspaper continues to operate, cutbacks are necessary. Business expenses are on the rise — postage, printing, supplies, etc.  It is with regret that I had to lay off an employee in December who has been with the Independent for decades….Shelia Thomas. I appreciate all that Shelia has done for this newspaper in past years, and I wish her the very best in the future for herself and her children. I am thankful that she has so quickly found a new employment opportunity.
So, while my daughter and I are basically the ones who will run this newspaper in the future, we are confident that we can continue to produce a weekly newspaper of historical documentation. My sister, Susie Williams, will be there to assist us on occasion when deadlines are looming!
Let me stand on my soap box to make a few brief comments concerning local business. I say this for the good of all businesses — not just the Independent. This county — like so many other small, rural areas — is losing industry and population. The few businesses that are able to stay afloat need our support. They cannot possibly compete with lower large corporates, yet they are vital to our  basic needs — groceries, fuel, medicine and medical care, household supplies, vehicles, and so on. We will pay a little bit more for the service and convenience…for the good of our communities. Our school, post offices, hospital, nursing home, counseling center, and other existing businesses including this  newspaper are vital services that we don’t need to lose. Remember that, and may each of us do what we can to preserve them.
My wish for everyone this new year is friendship, peace, happiness, and prosperity. I sincerely value everyone’s support of this family-owned newspaper, and we will be here for years to come in service to you.