Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Publisher’s Notebook

April 2, 2003

It was one of those ideas I wasn't sure was going to fly.

Last Friday morning, as I was rushing around the office, The Mirror's news editor, Lisa Scheller, asked me what I thought about gathering a group of people together in downtown Tonganoxie, as a show of support for our troops. We could make a large yellow ribbon, she said. Chicken wire and yellow fabric would work, she said. We could invite people to gather around the yellow ribbon for a photograph.

Sure, OK.

I was skeptical. But I've known Lisa Scheller long enough to know that once she has an idea, she's unlikely to let it go. And she will execute it perfectly.

The idea spawned after Lisa interviewed folks about the yellow ribbons tied to trees and railings along Tonganoxie's Fourth Street. The yellow ribbons struck a chord with her.

And because there's so little we can do to show our support for what servicemen and servicewomen are doing, the yellow ribbons have struck a chord with us, too.

I left town for the weekend. When I walked into the office Monday morning, Lisa was in high gear. She and her handy-dandy husband, Fred, had constructed a large yellow ribbon out of chicken wire, donated by Charlie Ussery, and yellow fabric Lisa found at Pelzl's Do It Best store.

I was still skeptical.

What if no one showed up? How could we, without being able to inform people through our newspaper, get the word out to people to meet us Tuesday morning at Fourth and Bury for a photograph.

Well, Lisa pulled it off.

She put in call after call. She stopped folks on the street, at the pharmacy and at Fourth Street Cafe. And those folks made calls and spread the word.

The word wasn't always perfect. Some people thought we were hosting a prayer vigil. Others heard we were sponsoring a peace rally.

But it was only a photograph, a wonderful photograph. And if you were there, you know how inspiring an event it was. You know that you did something to illustrate your gratitude for men and women who wear a military uniform.

If you didn't hear about the photograph and would have liked to participate, we're sorry. We didn't want to leave anyone out.

Lisa's yellow ribbon now hangs outside The Mirror's office on Fourth Street. It's a tribute to our troops and to the tenacity of one heck of a newswoman who calls Tonganoxie home.

We're so fortunate to have her in our lives. We're all better people because Lisa Scheller is constantly thinking and creating -- and happily inviting us along on her creative journey.

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