2014-09-30 / Front Page

A Career That Can’t Be Duplicated

The EDITOR’S Corner

Sarah Harrison in 1976 Sarah Harrison in 1976 Sarah Harrison’s multifaceted career with the Spencer Evening World came to a close last Friday as she stepped down from her position as vice president of marketing and settled into a much-deserved retirement.

Throughout the past five decades, Sarah has been a major member of the Spencer Evening World family. She first joined the SEW staff as a receptionist in July of 1968 and has held many other positions through the years at both the Spencer Evening World and World Arts, Inc. including bookkeeper, darkroom technician, layout and circulation manager, advertising manager, office manager, customer service representative, estimator, operations director, human resources director, vice president of commercial printing, and vice president of marketing to name a few.

Sarah Harrison, shown here with SEW office staff members Michelle Hazel, left, and Kim Bray, right, has worn many hats during her remarkable printing and publishing career. (Staff Photo) Sarah Harrison, shown here with SEW office staff members Michelle Hazel, left, and Kim Bray, right, has worn many hats during her remarkable printing and publishing career. (Staff Photo) “T. Perry Wesley, then Managing Editor of the Spencer Evening World, came to my parents’ farm on a Saturday afternoon in July of 1968 for my interview,” Sarah recalled. “Little did I know that when I came in early from the hay field on that hot afternoon I would begin this fascinating journey into the world of printing and publishing.”

Tom Douglas, who retired from his post as editor of the SEW in December of 2007, recalled his four decade association with Sarah, who grew up on a farm between Quincy and Gosport.

“Sarah and I graduated from Cloverdale High School six years apart in the early 1960s and I think that fact provided an immediate connection that made us close friends right from the start,” Tom said. “Through those early years, Sarah quickly demonstrated her willingness to be much more than just another employee for John T. and Meme. She was, and still is, a team player, the kind of employee business owners dream about but seldom find. I remember when Sarah and her husband Bill moved to Florida several years ago, it didn’t take John T. long to realize how important she was to the total operation at that time. As I recall, they came back to Indiana in about a year and John T. left no doubt that he wanted her back on our ‘team’ that included the newspaper and a steadily growing commercial printing business.”

It would take a book to recall all the memories Sarah and her extended SEW family have shared through the years, a sentiment echoed by Tom when he said, “The best memory is our solid-as-a-rock friendship that found us always ready to talk about whatever needed attention at the time. In addition to being a super employee, Sarah is also a person who will go out of her way to help others succeed. We share memories of wonderful people like John T. and Meme, T. Perry Wesley and a long, long list of other employees who each, in their own way, played a major part in the success of Indiana’s only ‘totally local’ five day newspaper.”

And it’s the people, her co-workers and longtime customers, more than the work that Sarah says she’ll miss the most.

“I was very fortunate to have wonderful mentors during my early years here,” she told me, “and I have valued the many things I have learned throughout the years from the great people I have worked with. To name a few... T. Perry Wesley, John T. and Meme Gillaspy, Tom Douglas, Lavoran Wright, Dixie Kline-Richardson, Mary Kathryn Bryan, Norma Griffin, Ferne Cotton, Terry Schooling and Bobby Hall. We were like family.”

Everyone here at the Spencer Evening World extends our warmest possible farewell, but we’re certainly not staying goodbye.

Sarah, as you leave, leave knowing that the Spencer Evening World is much better for you having chosen to dedicate so many years of service to the growth of not only this newspaper, but also to the community we all call home.

Her’s is truly a career that can’t be duplicated.

“To say she will be missed from the staff is a huge understatement,” Tom told me, “but she has put in the years that eventually provide a chance to step back and enjoy retirement. Jo and I wish she and Bill all the very best as they move into this new chapter of their lives.”

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