No Sunday dinner or birthday party was too small for these reports. Some of the reporters were better at providing coverage of what would probably be considered actual news events, while one I remember from the Democrat days, Pearl Wood, provided an accurate recounting every week of every illness that anyone in the community had- we called it Pearl's organ recital.
Some of the correspondents had bright, lively writing styles, while others were a bit more difficult to wade through. My most memorable experience with a country correspondent came when an older woman who wrote about the Lockwood area finished her column by noting that her husband was suffering from "harding of the arties." Though I loved that colorful description, I reluctantly made the correction.
Those old fashioned correspondents still exist, though they no longer are featured in many of the small-town weeklies and dailies where their work was once a fixture. Today's Memphis Commercial Appeal takes a look at correspondents and features some quotes from Missouri Southern State University's Chad Stebbins:
"They've been around for more than 100 years. You would think their time had passed, but, surprisingly, they're still going strong," says Stebbins, a former journalism professor who now teaches international studies at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.
Instead of becoming an anachronism, Stebbins says, the columns reflect "the charm of the old country weekly. People want to know what their neighbors are up to. That's news you can't find anywhere else."