A great ride but here’s the end of the road

Bob McKee

Because of today’s business climate, Warden Publishing Co. has regretfully been forced to end the Going South column.


After over 16 years and 852 columns this is my last Going South column. My first column appeared on this page on Sept. 12, 2001, while still employed as managing editor of The Gasconade County Republican. 

It has been a fun and rewarding experience. I hope this column has entertained people, made some laugh and made some think, which is about all that a writer can ask.

To all those readers who let me know how much they enjoyed the column, thank you. To those who let me know they didn’t agree with something I wrote, thank you also. We all have to keep learning. I hope I didn’t seriously offend anyone except my friends. They seem to have taken those columns aimed at them with a grain of salt and are still my friends.

I always went to great lengths not to directly identify those friends I wrote about but readers seemed to figure out their identities quickly and accurately anyway. I can’t imagine why. Now if one of them does something to deserve comment I guess it will have to be on Facebook. None of them are on Facebook, though.

That means they are going to get by now with a lot of unpunished shenanigans with no one to call them out for their misbehavior. Boys will be boys so have at it guys. I can’t keep you in line anymore.

Our publisher, Dennis Warden, said the newspaper has lost a couple of big advertisers in The Republican and a couple more have scaled back on advertising which is the life blood of every newspaper so those losses significantly affected the company’s revenue, and their ability to pay for this column.

I was fortunate enough to be part of newspaper production from the times of painstakingly putting one together piece by piece to doing it all on a computer. When I started at The Republican as a reporter and photojournalist in 1972 I was given a manual typewriter to write my stories from covering news events in Owensville and around Gasconade and Franklin counties. That evolved into a great advance, I thought, when they put an electric typewriter in front of me.

Then one morning we came into work and there were these primitive computers on our desks and they kept advancing as the technology did with programs developed specifically with publishers in mind. Digital cameras arrived on scene soon after doing away with hours and hours of darkroom time spent developing film and making black and white prints from the negatives.

It is being said that the day of the newspaper is over, at least for the print version. People are getting most their news from television, computers, smart phones and, heaven help us, social media. I sincerely hope they’re wrong about the demise of newspapers.

It indeed has been a great ride but I’m at the end of the road. Starting next week, Dennis will fill this space with his own column which he has been writing for our sister publication, The Maries County Advocate since its inaugural issue appeared in the fall of 2016.

Again, a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all the loyal readers of Going South.