For several years, there'd been some talk — a lot of it from former publisher Joe Sink — of getting a Dispatch reunion put together. But that was it — mostly talk.
|What a great turnout for the reunion.*|
We made plans. We mentioned who we'd like to see again. Where do we have it? How do we contact people? Who pays for it? And, most importantly, who's going to organize it?
Memory falters, but I think Neill and Kim came up with the idea almost simultaneously: get Michelle to do it!
It was perfect. Michelle Moore, who was the former paginator at The Dispatch, could do anything. She'd designed the paper's pages. She's social. She knows people. She makes her own jewelry, for crying out loud. Most importantly, she wasn't with us on Oak Island to object. Neill immediately messaged her on his iPhone, and just as quickly, she agreed to do it. I guess that's serendipity.
Within days, Michelle had created a Facebook page for The Dispatch Reunion, and the wheels were suddenly in motion. Former and current employees were getting the word: meet at Yarborough's on March 19, pay for your own food and drinks from a special limited menu, and bring your memories.
Plus, we'd be able to celebrate Joe's 79th birthday.
|A pretty good looking table right there... **|
At least six decades of Dispatch employees were represented (I personally spanned four of those decades).
Most of the evening was aimed at Joe. Several people rose to pay tribute, including former comptroller Wayne Brady, former ad representative Ron Wyatt and former sports editor/editor Larry Lyon. It was evident, by acclamation, that nobody ever had a better boss than The Dispatch employees who worked for Joe Sink.
I know we had five former sports guys on hand; there were also four former and current photographers; a bunch of newsroom reporter types, and a bushel of advertising and circulation folks.
So thanks to Neill and my wife for dreaming this up. And thanks to Michelle for putting it all together.
And thanks to Joe for being the reason to reunite in the first place. It was special.
|Joe Sink (left) with Anne Jackson Bullard and her husband.**|
* Photo by Melissa Egelnick.
** Photo by Michelle Moore.