To capture the essence of this complex town within the span of one newspaper is no simple task. This is because in order to accurately present the town in its truest form, you must have a thorough understanding of its people. This understanding can only be gained through experience, involvement, and dedication to the town itself, each of which has been consistently demonstrated by the hearty members of The Suffield Observer team over the years. How can I be so sure? Because when I was born, I took the very valuable position of what was referred to as the Observer baby. Growing up, my mother brought me in and sat me down beside her as she worked on the paper, leaving me with nothing much more to do than what any good Observer baby does: observe. I watched as the volunteers worked tirelessly, pushing each other to make the paper the very best it could be, and in this energetic environment, I was constantly learning.
The Suffield Observer taught me at a young age that passionate debate is a vital aspect of any great creation. I saw that when approached with an open mind, fervent debate can turn an argument into a masterpiece. The volunteers would present their ideas with confidence, support them with conviction, but in the end, devote equal energy to listening to one another. Seeing this dynamic is what pushed me to find my own confidence as I went forth in life, inspiring me to embrace disagreement with excitement, rather than rejecting it with discomfort.
Although healthy debate was certainly commonplace, so was genuine laughter. The members of The Suffield Observer team were thoughtful, witty, and always amusing. Although I had very little to offer to the paper itself as a toddler, I always felt right at home crawling around the office and watching the magic unfold, exhibiting an equal amount of curiosity and confusion. I felt attached to each member of the paper in their own way, which is perhaps why when my preschool teacher introduced to my class Mr. Smith, the esteemed reporter from the local paper, I had to correct her, saying “No, that’s just Lester!”. When the unrelenting work ethic of The Suffield Observer volunteers was too much for my young mind, Carol Martin would sit down beside me on the floor and read me a book, giving me a rest from all of my tiring hours of observation. It was this selfless nature of The Suffield Observer family that demonstrated to me everything our town was meant to represent through its newspaper.
Every individual I came across during my time as an Observer baby had an undying respect for the paper itself, and a selfless desire to make it an accurate reflection of the spirit of our town. Now that I am no longer an Observer baby, I have developed an even greater appreciation for the members of The Suffield Observer. Not only can I better understand their jokes and witty humor, but I can better appreciate the value of the powerful synergy that goes into making the newspaper so great.