Unformatted text preview: d of my staff. We had worked around the clock for ten days, and our first edition was a great success. We printed five thousand copies and sold them all. I sent a box of them to BeeBee, and she was most impressed. For the next month, the newTimes slowly took shape as I struggled to determine what I wanted it to become. Change is painful in rural Mississippi, soI decided to do it gradually. The old paper was bankrupt, but it had changed little in fifty years. I wrote more news, sold more ads, included more and Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html more pictures of groups of endless varieties. And I worked hard on the obituaries. I had never been attracted to long hours, but since I was the owner I forgot about the clock. I was too young and too busy to be scared. I was twenty-three, and through luck and timing and a rich grandmother, I was suddenly the owner of a weekly newspaper. If I had hesitated and studied the situation, and sought advice from bankers and accountants, I'm sure someone would have talked some sense into me. But when you're twenty-three, you're fearless. You have nothing, so there's nothing to lose. I figured it would take a year to become profitable. And, at first, revenue increased slowly. Then Rhoda Kassellaw was murdered. I guess it's the nature of the business to sell more papers after a brutal crime when people want details. We sold twenty-four hundred papers the week before her death, and almost four thousand the week after. It was no ordinary murder. - --- Ford County was a peaceful place, filled with people who were either Christians or claimed to be. Fistfights were common, but they were usually the work of the lower classes who hung around beer joints and such. Once a month a redneck would take a shot at a neighbor or perhaps his own wife, and each weekend had at least one stabbing in the black tonks. Death rarely followed these episodes. I owned the paper for ten years, from 1970 to 1980, and we repo...
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