Chip scared even me at first.
But in the 10 years we worked together, his “Chip charm” won me over.
I will never forget the time he and I met four days after the January 2007 ice storm hit Neosho, and caused so much damage in town and for its residents. I had slept maybe 10 hours total in those four days, as we were putting the paper out from a house in town with electricity and Internet, and having it printed in Springfield. My house was still dark, and had two holes in the roof from branches falling. And when I did sleep, it was below 40 degrees in the bedroom.
Finally, after four days of non-stop work, I crumbled and started breaking down. Chip came over and gave me a big bear hug. He was not shy about sharing his emotions.
He told me how proud he was of the paper still printing despite not having power, and that the community was proud of the paper, too.
Now, Chip is not going to be there the next time I need some advice, or just someone to vent my frustrations to. He is not going to be there to talk about how the St. Louis Cardinals blew the lead in the ninth inning, or why the Missouri Tigers can’t win the big game.
He is not going to be there when I need advice. I talked to Chip on a daily basis, more than my own parents, and not always about work — sometimes about life.
On Sunday, I was going to give him a call and tease him about my St. Louis Rams beating his Dallas Cowboys.
But, I didn’t. I knew he wasn’t feeling good last week, so I figured he was probably resting.
I just didn’t know he would be resting for all eternity.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Daily publisher offers tribute to Chip Watson
In a column published earlier this week, Neosho Daily News Publisher Rick Rogers offered a tribute to GateHouse Media regional manager Chip Watson, who died earlier this week: