Friday, May 7, 2010

A Mother's Day message about my son

Rather fitting with Mother's Day on Sunday that I write today about the last day of work at The Mercury for our promotions director. Fitting, because he is my son.
Chris March is leaving Pottstown, moving up to a job as online promotions/advertising at The New Haven Register, the largest newspaper in the Journal Register Company, parent company of The Mercury. He has earned the promotion after two and a half years working as a liaison here between the advertising and circulation departments and the commmunity.
His involvement on behalf of The Mercury with the Schuylkill Riverfest, Fourth of July committee, Montgomery County Community College, Healthy Lifestyles Expo and Relay for Life has enhanced the newspaper's role in the community.
His creativity in promoting our products both in print and online has given us a fresh approach among newspapers our size, and his professionalism has earned him respect of his colleagues and the community at large.
That said, it can't be easy being the editor's son.
Chris learned a long time ago that the newspaper business has both rewards and drawbacks.
When he was 2, his grandmother would bring him in here in the evenings to visit his parents when they worked and share a Coke with his Dad.
When he was 5, he would fidget in an office chair during late-afternoon Page One meetings while his parents planned the next day's paper. There was the one-hour overlap between my day shift and my husband's night shift.
Also when he was 5, he joined photo supervisor John Strickler riding in a golf cart on a "bear hunt," chasing down a wandering black bear on the grounds of Brookside Country Club for front-page pictures.
When he was 7, he made the front page after finding a lost boy who had wandered onto our property and fallen asleep in the woods near the bus stop where Chris and his friend Donnie embarked.
When he was 15, he wrote a column for the editorial page after a high school teacher wrongly ridiculed the spelling of a word in a Mercury headline.
When he was 17, he wrote a piece for the Daniel Boone high school newspaper about the emotional aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The reaction from his classmates to his writing sealed his future: He was a journalist.
When he was 19 and studying journalism at Penn State, he wrote music reviews as a free-lancer for TimeOut.
And, when he was 23 and looking for a job to use his degree in journalism and internship in marketing, publisher Tom Abbott gave him an opportunity to fill a vacancy and shape a new position here in advertising promotions.
Now, he's moving on.
It is a privilege as a parent to witness your child exhibit at work the qualities you hope you have helped instill. I have enjoyed that privilege the past two and a half years.
Chris is professional, easygoing, creative, helpful and conscientious. I'll share credit for some of his qualities, as one of two parents who demonstrate a solid work ethic and who taught respect for others. Some of it, I'll chalk up to good genes.
Mostly, the respect I hold for my son professionally is all his own doing.
Today is Chris' last day at The Mercury.
It's Mother's Day for me.

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