Rita Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rita Howell

Magazine arrives, just to wrong city

They finally arrived last Friday.

Our much anticipated second issue of Batesville Magazine made it to Batesville.

A few glitches had delayed its completion at the New Orleans printing  company we use.

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Then a misunderstanding with FedEx had them delivered to Grenada. The delivery company would have brought them to us on Monday, but we couldn’t wait.

“Can we just go get them?” Madison, who edited the publication, asked the printing  company.

“Yes, you can get them,” she was told.

So Madison enlisted the help of her dad, Don Kilgore, and his pickup to make a mad dash to Grenada and load up 20 boxes containing 3,000 copies of the new magazine.

Madison has learned that if you’re the editor of The Panolian’s magazine, you’re also in charge of distribution. Probably not covered in her journalism classes at Ole Miss, but she’s a trooper and by suppertime had copies dispersed around town, including a stack at the Mexican restaurant we frequent.

All seemed well as we flipped through the pages of the finished product that had been gone over and over by staff members as it was carefully prepared over the course of several months.

Those staff members are listed on page 9 on what we in the biz refer to as the “masthead.”

The term masthead, according to that handy internet resource “Wikipedia,” is borrowed from the shipping industry, when a brass plate would be affixed to the main mast of a commercial sailing vessel. This plate contained the name of the owner or owners of a ship. Publishers of newspapers and magazines borrowed the term for their listing of owners and staff members.

Anyway, this time, we missed the boat.

The name of Myra Bean does not appear where it should, with the other writers and photographers on our staff who contributed to this publication.

Her name does appear with the story she wrote about Batesville’s hometown football hero, Deshea Townsend.

But why isn’t it on the masthead?

I have my theories.

It could have fallen off into the pages of the Panola History book Billy Davis used to compile his armchair tour of historical local places (page 40 in the magazine). Maybe he dropped it in Tocowa Springs when he went there to take a picture.

Myra’s name might have floated off in the exuberant music at a worship service at The Rock Church when Emily Williams visited there for a story she wrote about the Pope landmark.

It’s possible that I dropped Myra’s name while I enjoyed the hospitality of Dave and Betty Jane Billingsley. Their tastefully renovated home on Lomax Street is the subject of a feature story beginning on page 34.

The bandage on Betty Jane’s hand (see photo on page 37) was from an injury she received earlier in the day I was to come for the interview and photo session in her home, She refused to cancel on me. (Thanks, B.J.)

Myra’s name could have been lost in the electronic transmission of the pages from Batesville to New Orleans, or maybe Fed-Ex misplaced it in their confusion over the destination for the magazine. For crying out loud, why would they deliver Batesville Magazine to Grenada anyway?

One of the benefits of having a twice-a-week newspaper is that when we do make a mistake, we can publish a correction within a few days. Unfortunately, the next Batesville Magazine is scheduled for October. It will be months before we can rectify this mistake.

Those of you who know Myra realize that she is entirely too busy to worry about any of this nonsense. As sports editor, photographer, staff writer, mom, grandmother, bus driver, computer gamer, historical novel aficionado, and faithful friend, she doesn’t have time to sweat the small stuff.

But just to be sure, I have checked the masthead at the bottom of page A4.  Her name is there.