Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


May 11, 2013

It's my job

A couple of weeks ago, some chowderheads released a study saying that the worst job in America is that of newspaper reporters because of the low pay, long, odd hours and stress.

Number two on the list was lumberjack, which makes sense because trees kill.

Yeah, being a reporter isn’t always fun, but I’ve stayed with it now for 23 years because I’m nosy and like writing.

These were some of the highlights of the last few weeks: The West Memorial Service in Waco. I know, I know, why would anyone enjoy a  memorial service? It wasn’t that I had a great time, but it was moving and beautiful and filled my heart up to the brim and spilling over. I’ve never seen so many fire fighters in one place, or so many trucks and ambulances. The video messages from their family members were a reminder that these men who died were just like us, like our neighbors, and our relatives. They were a dozen good ol’ boys who really wanted to help. I sat with the too-cool-for-school international press and just bawled my eyes out.

The part that I wish everyone could have experienced was the playing of “Amazing Grace,” toward the end. There must have been two hundred bag pipers and drummers that ringed the floor of that coliseum, and they played in unison. Bagpipes have a haunting sound. Now, multiply that by 100 or so. It was beautiful and electrifying, every hair on my body just stood up at attention.

Then, this past week was the 75th anniversary of the Kinsloe House. The luncheon included a fashion show with colorful commentary and really beautiful clothing from the 1930s. The was a chicken pasta salad and fruit and Debra’s fabulous rolls, but then there was another thing on the plate, which I came to call “the cube.” It was an opaque gelatin in which vegetables were embedded. I tasted asparagus, olives and nuts. I tried it because I like new experiences, but let’s just say I didn’t need a second bite. The rest of the program harkened back to the ‘30s with Gelene Simpson reading the history of the Kinsloe House, and a brief description of the “War of the Worlds” radio play and the country’s reactions to it.

As I left I could only marvel at the generosity of spirit and creativity of these women. They’re so cool.

Then, on Friday I was invited to go up in a World War II plane as part of the promotion for the AirSho. I’ve done this in the past and it was a blast. The smells and sounds of the old engine, and then being airborne and having to trust that a 60-year-old machine can carry me and then bring me home safe. Incredible fear and freedom all at once.

Worst job in America? I think not.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail:

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