For months, I knew that it was coming, and we kept preparing all the little things that we knew we wanted to include. There were the current feature articles. There were the old photos. There were the historical articles taken directly from the 1958 Centennial edition.
Then, for the last two months, we started getting family and business tribute advertisements from folks. As Donna Nelson began pulling those ads together, I was working to sift through the material I wanted to include in the supplement.
And finally, last week, it was time to pull it all together.
I had some vague notions about what I wanted the cover to be; but, I knew that it was something that I didn't have the skill or artistic ability to create. I contacted a new friend in Mason, Kyle Martin, and he put together a cover that is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful we've ever had in this newspaper.
And then I started laying out the entire publication. It seemed that it guided me on how it should be done and that I simply complied with its wishes. This publication, more so than with any that I've done in the last ten years, had a flow and a direction that I've only attempted to match with the many Fall and Spring Guides, Football Supplements, etc.
We truly feel that we've provided something that will give a reader who is new to Mason an accurate snapshot of our community. For longtime residents, it will be an album of treasured recollections and images. For those who are new to the community, it will be a guide to the many family intricacies that both complicate, and delight, the telling of any story.
By the time you read this, we will already have started delivering copies of the tribute publication all around town. We printed an unprecedented 1200 extra copies in addition to those needed for insertion in each newspaper. We suspect that many people will want to secure extra copies to pass along to their children and grandchildren, and to store away along with valued heirlooms.
Every time I finish one of our Fall Hunting Guides or Spring Visitors' Guides, I am flooded with a sense of relief that I was able to find enough good material to fill up yet another publication. I put it up on the shelf with our other archived publications, and I smile knowing that we are helping to promote our community.
But, with this publication, I have an entirely different emotion. Pride!
I have never been as proud of something that the staff and I have turned out as I am with this special tribute. I am proud of the work we have done. I am proud of all the work that everyone did to make it so special. I am proud of the beautiful cover that Kyle designed for us. I am proud of the fact that someone who may not have understood our pride in Mason County will finally have a better sense of the genesis of that attitude.
Most of all, I have a renewed pride myself in the community that shaped and informed me. I am proud that I am a sixth generation Mason County resident, and that I was able to be part of something that helps to celebrate that heritage.
Celebrate your heritage, Mason.
It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.