By Jerrie Whiteley
The mood in our newsroom Thursday turned somber when we learned of the death on Wednesday of Margo Smith. Though it has been more than a decade since Margo worked as a reporter here, memories of her quick wit, infectious laugh and dazzling smile quickly filled the room.
As skilled as any reporter at straight news, Margo excelled in writing feature stories. She loved getting to know people and sharing that knowledge with readers. She wrote the way she spoke, a skill that is essential in this business and not easy to acquire. And she most often spoke softly and with kindness.
Sitting at my desk thinking about her Thursday evening, the word that kept coming back to me was “kindness.” That I can recall, she never let her desire to be kind keep her from going after any subject or source to get information, but she always let it lead her in doing those things.
The most vivid image in my mind was of her dressed in a pair of walking shorts with an oxford shirt and a cute pair of flats. Her neck was bedecked in necklaces and her arms in bracelets so she made a sweet tinkling sound as she walked.
That summer was a brutal one and there was a bit of a discussion over the fact that sports writers were allowed to wear shorts while general assignment reporters were not. Margo solved the problem, at least to her mind, by putting stockings on under the shorts and explaining she was no less dressed up than any woman wearing a casual dress. That was classic Margo problem solving. She didn’t rant or rave; she just kindly altered the dress code to fit her plans for the day.
Not that anyone would have questioned her appearance, because she always fit perfectly into any room she entered, be it our newsroom, a courtroom, boardroom or meeting hall. She would walk in, shine that brilliant smile and say, “Hi. I am Margo. Sit down and tell me about yourself.” And the subject would invariably tell her pretty much everything.
We missed her when she left the newspaper to follow other goals. And this week, we miss her even more.
Happy birthday Sunday to Hailey Redd, Mike Ritchie, Joe Marvin Fulenchek, Jokari Barnum and Lola McFadden, all of Denison; Debbie Flanders, Russell Hagan, Leonard Bell Sr., LaToya Jamerson, Mary Alice Moore, Josice Wright, Ashley Holder and Tom Ailshire, all of Sherman; Linda Rolen of Bells; Andy McAngus of Leonard; Trevor Cummings of Collinsville; Robin Gray of Frisco; Landon Goins of Pottsboro; Gene Ball of Lewisville; Rodger Ball of Durant, Okla.; and Travis Ball of Paris.
Happy anniversary Sunday to Harvey and Linda Kimsey of Sherman, 47 years; Gary and Brenda Klose of Savoy, 34 years; Terry and Linda Sutherland of Southmayd, 23 years.