Seeing our future, honoring our past

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

Thursday evening the staff of the Advocate had an opportunity to show off a little. We hosted a Chamber of Commerce After Hours event in our newly remodeled building and we were very pleased with the results. We had great food, courtesy of the Chamber, who did an excellent job of helping organize the event, and even better company as we entertained many of our valued business partners and friends.

The event was planned to not only show off our new surroundings, but more importantly to honor several people who had, and continue to have, a significant positive impact on this newspaper and the community it serves.

Our first presentation was to publicly honor Joan Reynolds as The Greenville Advocate Citizen of the Year. Anyone who knows Joan and the personal investment she makes in supporting cancer research through the Butler County Relay for Life understands why she was chosen for this honor by our readers and reader advisory committee.

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As managing editor Jay Thomas said in his remarks prior to presenting Reynolds with a special framed replica of the news page announcing Reynolds' honor, "Joan Reynolds is a person who can do anything because she is a determined lady.

Though one person called her organized chaos, she gives of herself freely in the fight to rid our world of cancer."

Reynolds, who was accompanied by her husband Paul, expressed her thanks for the honor and her commitment to keep up the good fight. Anyone who has had a relative affected by cancer understands why Joan does what she does. I know I do.

We also used this event to dedicate two of our conference rooms to people who we respect immensely. The editorial conference room was dedicated to C.H. "Buster" MacGuire, who passed away in 2003. Buster was, and is, a legend in many ways; in this community for the multitude of programs he nurtured, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Butler County Manufacturers Association; but also in the journalistic world, especially during his time at The Montgomery Advertiser and The Greenville Advocate. One of my most prized possessions, which I display in the "C.H. Buster MacGuire Reading Room" is his autographed copy of the book he penned "Chamber Music & Camellia Bouquets." The simple inscription says "For our new publisher, Dennis Palmer- Best Wishes, Buster MacGuire." I often read passages from the book and remember Buster's wry wit and skillful journalistic principals. Sadly I did not get a chance to work with him but a year, but I'll remember him for a lifetime.

The plaque outside the door to his conference room will be a continual reminder to me and others that Buster is still with us, if not in body in spirit. We all miss Buster and we were happy to have his wife Nina and son Colin "Big C" MacGuire attend the event to help honor him.

And finally, the dedication of our large, community conference room was made in honor of the Stanleys and the Hardins. It's obvious to me that I would not have the opportunity to ply my trade in Greenville had it not been for Gen. J.B. Stanley, J.G. Stanley and Gene Hardin. Their efforts can be seen every day, in every page of this newspaper, the community's newspaper. During their insightful tenure, The Greenville Advocate won so many awards for journalistic excellence that the plaques, if stacked on top of each other, would probably be taller than the courthouse dome.

My pledge to them, and this community, is that we will continue to strive for excellence in community journalism; not because we want to win awards, but because our community, the Stanleys and the Hardins deserve that measure of investment toward continuing the mission they began 140 years ago.

The Hardins, and their daughters Molly and Jean, attended the function Thursday night and it was an honor to have them visit with us. Both Mr. Hardin and Nonnie (Stanley) Hardin expressed their thanks to us for honoring them and their family in this way, something I'll treasure forever.

It's important to note that the staff of the Advocate did not recognize MacGuire, the Stanleys and the Hardins because we wanted personal accolades for doing so; we did it because it's the right thing to do. I firmly believe you have to honor those that came before you; otherwise you can never fully appreciate what your mission should be.

Dennis Palmer is publisher of The Greenville Advocate. He can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 125, or by email: