By Tammy Moore-Teague – RP Contributor
The memory of one of my first feature stories flooded my mind when Jason Baggett, owner and publisher of Resident Press, asked me to come on board.
It was a vivid memory, his father, Don Baggett, in a golden yellow shirt and a brown pipe. I can still hear him calling my family’s name one by one as we entered the back door of the pharmacy. As we traipsed down the stairs one by one “more Moores,” he’d say. I wanted to capture that feeling in my first assignment at “The Citizen.”
That feeling of community, small town-where everyone knows you by name. I remember the gracefully retired, white haired men sitting around the tables at the drug store. Each of them with a cup of coffee in hand. I listened to them speak of politics and how they had the every day common sense that would fix our nations’s woes. Most of these gentlemen have since passed and their voices silenced. Never forgotten, however, is the impact they had on some of my generation.
That story ran in the summer of 1999, and I was afforded the opportunity to continue to write about the things that touched my heart and about our community for the following five years. My mother, as I shared with Baggett, proudly kept and stored away each of those issues. Who knows, maybe somewhere in the dusty corner of our storage building lies the tales of Geraldine Repass and her “Huntington Happenings” and the meticulous weather reporting of Charlie Bennett.
Each one I had the privilege to get to know and establish great rapport. Of course I could never neglect to mention the hard work and dedication Ann Blythe had while working there. She was, as far as I was concerned, the glue that held things together after the passing and new ownership following the late Frank Boyd. I worked with some very good people and made life long friends. Afterward, I worked for the Times Record, yet my heart wasn’t in it. I love to write but there is no substitute for writing about things you’re truly passionate about!
When I received the invitation to contribute to the Resident Press, I felt truly fortunate to once again be given the opportunity to express that passion.
Community journalism, it’s not the same hard hitting news you can view on your television or read in the daily paper. It’s the news that touches the heart, and that parades the compassion of every day, ordinary people.
One of my great mentors, Dr. Van Tyson, helped me understand the difference. Although he is now retired, I couldn’t help but inform him of my newest endeavor. His reply, “sounds promising.” I had to giggle as I remembered him telling our small group at Arkansas Tech to “learn to like coffee black,” and that one day the printed paper as we knew it would soon be replaced by online versions.
That day is here and although the outlet is different than what I’m accustomed-the stories, and the people, they are the same. It’s those things and to those people whom I look forward to being of service. So many of you that are regular viewers of the Resident Press know me.
Perhaps you know me, as Baggett jokingly stated, as “Tammy Moore.” But for those of you who do not, I’m a Mansfield native and graduated in 1995. I attended and graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 1999 with my bachelors in journalism. Besides my work at The Citizen and Times Record, I have also been contributing to Sherry Barnes bi-monthly newspaper, the Heartland Heritage for the past few years. In 2003 is when I made that name change and married a farm boy from Northeastern Arkansas.
Jason and I have children of the fur kind, two to be exact, and they let us live in “their” home just outside the city limits. Our home is where I am fortunate to be able to care for and make daily memories with my precious parents Leon and Sue Moore. The wonderful Christian values they raised me with is the greatest gift a parent could give to their children. My family is so blessed by the precious friendships and our church family at Westside Pentecostal Church in Huntington.
This is my life in sum, but if you don’t remember me you’re not missing much-it’s Jesus that I hope people see in me, and He is everything! Again I am very excited to see what future holds, and I look forward to sharing it with each one of you! Blessings!