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With Betty Out, It Hasn’t Been The Same This Year In The Herald Office

DAVE’S WORLD
By David Howell

Y’all bear with us, the front page just doesn’t feel right this week without Betty’s input. She has experienced some ups and downs with her battle against cancer during the last week (and months), including a couple of nights in the hospital.
We are looking forward to her beating this and returning to the office soon. She has shared many times that she is as ready to get back to work as we are for her to return. It just hasn’t been the same here this year.
I guess that makes sense, in the almost 63 years she worked at the Herald office she rarely missed a day. When her 60th anniversary at the Herald approached in 2018, we decided that was worthy of celebration. We marked that milestone that June with a reception with many of her longtime friends and Herald subscribers. At that time she was the second longest-serving newspaper employee in the state, trailing only behind a lady at the Winona who had just over 60 years.
Shearer’s tenure here at the Herald spans almost half of the newspaper’s 133-year history – she started on June 23, 1958, just four days after marrying Edward “Ed” Shearer, III. If you do the math, that is well over 3,000 weekly editions of the paper under her belt. And I can promise, getting the paper to the press each week always has a unique challenge and no week is ever the same.
Betty’s father-in-law, Edward B. Shearer, or “Big Ed” as he was known, was one of three owners who purchased the newspaper in 1943. By the time Betty started it was the Shearer’s family business.
I remember Betty sharing that her indoctrination into the business was short, just an hour-long “crash course” before being assigned front office duties on that Monday, joining her husband and in-laws, along with Faye Ross, Myrle Cox and Ham Baker.
She quickly learned the weekly routine was more than a job or career, it was a way of life. Vacations were infrequent and always scheduled after the paper went out Wednesday morning. Babies weren’t allowed to be born on press days nor were funerals held. And sick days, they have been scarce during the last 63 years. At least up until February, when she took a spill in the church parking lot. She was banged up, which ultimately proved to be a blessing as her trips to the doctor helped expedite the early diagnosis of cancer.
Betty’s Week has appeared on the front page of the Herald since 1989. She has shared highlights of her life as well as information about life in the Valley, favorite foods and countless other topics. Join us in praying for her speedy return.

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