"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
– Alfred Lord Tennyson
Well, this week, like all of you, The Osceola Times says goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. I personally am more than ready. This will forever be the year remembered for the outbreak of COVID-19. It is the year we all grew up and realized just how vulnerable we really are. Most of us were placed at the mercy of the government when it came to our jobs and livelihood. Myself and thousands of others found ourselves in isolated ICU rooms being injected with experimental drugs. And, many of us lost our loved ones to this dreadful virus. We were all forced to wear masks and practice social distancing.
In the mist of business closings and factories shutting down, The Osceola Times celebrated its 150th year of operation. Wow! That’s hard to even imagine. We are the longest operating business in Osceola and one of the oldest newspapers in the state. And, somehow we managed to make it through 2020. Every staff member was quarantined at one time or another and our office doors were closed to the public. We were forced to work at home. Yet, somehow we survived! We published every single week in 2020 just like we have for the past 150 years... even when I was in an ICU room my co-workers stepped up to the plate.
Leon Roussan established the newspaper and printed its first edition in 1870. In 1875, he was given the honor of becoming Osceola’s first elected mayor. He and has wife Adah left big footsteps meant to be followed. The Times has now visited the homes of local residents for some seven generations; and we are still going strong... thanks to you our readers and advertisers.
The masthead on the front of our newspaper states, “Your community and your newspaper working together for a better tomorrow.” That is our motto and our goal. Together, we work to “educate, inform, and entertain.” We are still the place where you can go to find the truth.
I have been entrusted with this incredible legacy and have held it carefully in my hands for the majority of my working career. It has always brought me a sense of pride to know I was walking in Adah Roussan’s path... a woman who worked hard everyday to change her small part of the world. I want to think she looks down from Heaven, smiles, and says “go get them girl!”
Many people find their “news” on the web these days. Yet everyone knows you can not trust the Internet. Anyone with a phone can claim to be a reporter... with no education, no standards, and often no morals. Hence fake news. Your hometown newspaper remains the “watchdog” for a free society. We check our facts before they are printed and you can count on us to shoot it straight.
As we embark on a new year, I welcome you to continue on this venture with us. We want to hear your ideas and opinions. We want to know about your accomplishments and your triumphs and we promise to help shoulder your burdens. We’ve never been able to do this alone and we can’t begin now. We need your continued support so we can carry on the legacy. United, we can keep our community strong... even during a pandemic. So, here’s to the next 150 years and the end of COVID-19!
Happy New Year!