Monday, January 14, 2008

The Argus Observes --- An unexpected dividend from Arock students

By Don Lynch
From The Argus-Observer for Jan. 15, 1953

(Editor’s note: Arock, Oregon is 113 miles by highway south and a little west of Ontario and west of Jordan Valley. But it is not easy to get there. Heading out of Ontario or Nyssa, you wind through the Idaho side of the Snake River before returning to Malheur County on US 95. But this was Malheur County and in 1953 The Argus-Observer carried news from Arock.)

Unexpected dividends sometimes accrue to an editor.

This week I received a dozen thank-you letters from the students at Arock school. We had mailed Christmas candy to our correspondents and the kids thus qualified for a box of candy.
Under the guidance of their teacher, Miss Ruth Cray, they have been gathering news in their community. She edits their bits of information and sends them along to the Argus-Observer so that we can carry an Arock report.

We are therefore quite indebted to the students at Arock school and especially to their teacher for providing us with a facility permitting this newspaper to serve that community.

Of course it was not accident that we heard from 12 students at Arock in one mail. Undoubtedly miss Cray used the opportunity to give the youngsters practical experience in letter writing. Such ingenuity is the sign of a good teacher.

One student wrote, “I got orders from the teacher that I had to write a letter to you and thank you.”

Another reported a windy day in Arock and said, “We are trying to get many news for the newspaper.”

And another, “We have quite and advantage in getting to write for a newspapers.”

All of the letters carried a gracious note of thanks for the box of candy that was too small for a dozen youngsters. I had forgotten to mail larger boxes to school classes who send us news.
I would like to visit the kids at Arock some day, to spend a day getting acquainted with our youthful reporters.

We value them more than they realize. It is such quiet public support of the newspaper in a thousand little ways, support of it as if it were a public institution like the schools or the library, that makes country news papering so much fun, so much closer to many people than most other things a man is given a chance to do.

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