It seems too soon, but our Sara is going to retire. Faithful readers will not wonder, “Sara who?” Sara started with the Davie Enterprise in 1946 after marrying the dashing Prentice Campbell and moving with him to Mocksville.
She looked for work at the newspaper and stayed, becoming our grand lady, sort of our own Margaret Thatcher — an elegant, larger-than-life persona and magnet for visitors. Out-of-town politicians passing through Mocksville have known to call on the courthouse crowd … and Sara.
Her blessing is gold. She has served as newspaper merchant, Mother Confessor and armchair psychologist to the legions marching through the Enterprise Record door with 50 cents in hand.
Known for her unvarnished opinions, Sara has scolded the sinners, encouraged the downtrodden and listened to the heartaches and the hopes of her customers.
Lucy in the “Peanuts” cartoon charged five cents for an opinion. Sara charges 50 cents. After 67 years, she is stepping down as my faithful and true secretary and the newspaper’s ambassador.
For the past 20 years, she has only worked on Wednesdays selling newspapers to a vast array of loyal customers, many of whom will drive miles, passing a handful of those clunky mechanical racks to get their newspaper personally from Sara.
Her desk is our top sales outlet.
She is 89, mentally spry and quick witted, but the aches and pains are taking a toll on her fingers and knees.
“I wanted to work until I was 90,” she said.
She has missed a few weeks recently, and we have struggled to fill her chair.
“Where’s Sara?” customers have demanded.
With photographer Jim Barringer’s departure a few weeks back, the newspaper is losing 120 years of combined experience. We will muddle through somehow, but their fierce devotion and loyalty to this newspaper are qualities that have inspired this member of the not-so-younger generation.
Sara’s last day will be Wednesday, Oct. 2. Come buy one more newspaper from her. She’ll be in the office from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.