When it came time to attend the South Carolina Press Association Awards annual meeting this past weekend, the two of us were aware we had won awards for our publications, which gave us great pride in what we do and the team we work with across the state and also an appreciation for the support and leeway in which we are allowed to do our jobs. What we had no idea of beforehand was the impact your work had made in the minds of our peers.
I want to take a moment to reflect on your accomplishment and the pride I have in being your writing partner on a daily basis. I am also going to make a few observations I most likely should have made long ago.
Kasie, you were named Best of the Best in writing columns, an award that transcends the boundaries of newspaper/publication size and circulation. There are not many outside the news industry in this state who know the magnitude of this recognition, the number of other writers like us who daily slave away at a keyboard and often empty screen, mocking us for our audacity to attempt the impossible: wringing emotion from our readers through the printed word, creating images in the reader’s imaginations, and the struggle to always be on point.
Two years ago you joined the editorial staff of The Easley Progress, Pickens Sentinel, and Powdersville Post and brought a great sigh of relief, giving me hope I would survive after so many long months of being the sole writer in this department. You were self deprecating, pointing out often how rusty you were, but had no idea how impressive it was you never once disappointed with your work.
Your columns and pieces about your life, loved ones, and the funny moments in your private time were immediately loved by all and it took no time for you to feel at home behind the keyboard once again, not only helping me get these publications to a level not seen in many years within these walls, but pushing me to excel and be better at what I do.
More than once your passion for your career, not the job but the written word, has often kept me going when I was sure I couldn’t any longer. There have been times we have worked stories together and it was you who kept me on track, not losing sight of the goal, knowing my enthusiasm at times is a little intense — to say the least — and needs to be checked. I thank you for that, and so much more.
You are a wife and mother with a family to be envied and a relationship most would love to have. You balance your professional and home lives in a way they not only do not interfere with one another, but you excel at both like no one I have ever seen. Your ability to keep your complicated life on track is inspirational.
Most of all, I want to say how proud I am of this accomplishment.
Not only is it almost unheard of for someone in a market our size to be named Best of the Best, the difficulty in winning that award at any level is beyond difficult. I know as I watched your face, the surprise and joy, when the announcement was made how happy you must have been, you may be the only person in the world I would have felt the joy for in that moment.
Writers are notoriously competitive, and in any other year, that competitiveness in me would have prompted a very different reaction, forcing me to read the portfolio that won and comparing it to my own. Not this time.
No, this time I knew the writer’s work, their work ethic, the labor and feeling and emotion poured into it. I say this, and truly mean it, your victory at that moment was as if I had won myself. I feel I have been a part of your growth over the last two years, and I have to say, my pride in your work at that moment was without comparison. I could never have been more proud, even if it had been my name.
We both took away awards, as did these publications, but this moment in time stands on its own.
You are my writing partner and my friend and I could not be more proud to call you either. Enjoy that feeling of recognition for a job not just well done, but a job well done consistently. Anyone can get things right for a single day, but you have shown your talent and passion by getting it right everyday.
Thank you for sharing this with me, with all of us in Pickens County. We are all truly blessed to have you.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.