Stowers: Back where it all beganBy BY MARK H. STOWERS FOR THE E-T,
Good Mornin’! Good Mornin’! The late Fincher Word spoke those words to anyone and everyone who entered Sabin’s Men Shop back in the day.
I thought they were as appropriate to introduce each column I write. Yes, indeed, I’m back home where it all began at The Enterprise-Tocsin. The country boy from Macon Lake whose zip code is a bit north of there these days. Back in 1980, I was working on my NBA plan but a sprained knee and lack of basketball skills put me on a side road.
Then editor and publisher, Jim Abbott, asked me if I could write a weekly sports piece that would wrap up last week’s action and preview the coming week’s game – all for $5 an article. Now that went a long ways at the newly minted McDonalds back then so I pecked away each week to recreate the Colonels basketball escapades and loved every minute of it.
So much so, that it put me on the Journalism road that took me to MDJC, then Ole Miss where I jumped into TV, radio and newspaper. I’ve worked for corporations and freelanced for newspapers in several states. This past summer, publisher/editor Bryan Davis asked me to come on board as a freelance writer/photographer and contribute articles. I was more than happy to do so as I contribute to other Delta publications and hey, the cable bill won’t pay itself and I need a plan to fight poverty. For the past six years, I’ve been an online columnist for the Clarion Ledger but that came to an abrupt end when Gannett budgets got trimmed recently. Probably 90 percent of what was in that column came out of Sunflower County and Mr. Davis asked me if I’d like to continue perusing my home county and shining a light on great folks and things happening here. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough and here I am as one of my friends would say, “living the dream” – truly!
Growing up on a farm just outside of Inverness I had dreams of either becoming a cowboy or a movie star or possibly combining the two. But dreams change – sometimes they die and even get revived. Or for some lucky few, they remain intact and become one of those fairy tale stories where everybody lives happily ever after.
I’m not a cowboy or a movie star or even a cowboy movie star – yet. But I’ve got something in the works that one day will kind of, sort of make that happen. But I’m a freelance writer, so every day I’m something different. I learn about folks and businesses and situations and then put it all together to tell a story.
I’m here to use this space to introduce you to some folks, some businesses, talk about sports and plenty of other topics that we’ll discover together.
It’s kind of like one of those college road trips where you leave with very little money, have some idea of how to get to a specific place and you fill up the car with characters that will entertain, drive you crazy but ultimately get you to where you’re going with plenty of stories to tell along the way and way after the trip is done.
All of my adventures and characters that have passed through my life have taught me some things and have helped me in my writing career.
One hour I may be talking to farmers about bugs and the next phone call involves sports facilities or maybe world-class cinnamon rolls or perhaps homemade ice cream. I love my life as a writer and enjoy meeting all of these folks across Sunflower County. I’m looking forward to this road trip with y’all and I definitely want to hear from you.
Do you know an interesting character or business that does something extraordinary? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll look into them or it.
I’d always ‘preciate your comments here or over at Facebook, or you can tweet me @markhstowers ... See yah next week! As a freelance writer, I’m working to grow my business and have created a GoFundMe page to help with that. Please take a look and see if you can help. I’d greatly appreciate it!
A freelance writer, middle-of-the-road-conservative and wannabe fry cook, I look to bring native Sunflower County folks and businesses to your attention through my looking glass.