FLOYD INGRAM: My Chickasaw Journal job-jar

CJ-0402-COL-Floyd-1C-MUGAt my house we have a job-jar.

It’s a jar filled with jobs Sara feels need tending to on the Ingram Plantation. We’ve had this system for the past 20-years.

I wake up most Saturday mornings and pull out a job. When it’s finished I pull out another.

The job-jar has never been empty. It’s about half-full right now.

One of the first management tools I learned was to make a list and check off tasks upon completion.

Different people call these lists different things. There is the honey-do list at home, the formal plan-of-action and the more modern bucket list of fun things to do.

I’ve got a list like that at work. Here are a few of the things in my Chickasaw Journal job-jar.


• I want to do a story on every World War II veteran left in Chickasaw County.

Two of the best stories I’ve ever done in the newspaper business are the Harold Turner story of the Battle of the Bulge and Herman Smith’s remembrance of July 4, 1944.

The men and women of that era are fading fast and their stories – no matter how minor – deserve to be told.


• Start doing stories on Korean War vets.

They call the Korean War the “forgotten war.” I’ve seen some call it the Korean Conflict, as if the shooting and shelling really weren’t war.

The Korean Peninsula has been back in the news recently with North Korea rattling its nuclear tipped sabre. Many sacrificed much to give South Korea the open society and booming economy it enjoys.


• I want a photo of a bear taken in Chickasaw County.

We did a story in two years ago in our spring magazine where the state’s bear biologist said he firmly believes there are black bears in the Tombigbee Wildlife Management Area. We’ve also done stories of two bear sightings

With hunting season soon to arrive and today’s hunters equipped with camera phones, I would love to run a picture of a black bear on Page One.


• I want to do a grand-opening story on a new restaurant coming to Houston. It can be a hamburger shak, a barbecue stand – or my personal favorite – a steakhouse. What do we have to do to get this kind of business in Houston?


• Get a photo and do a story on a world record bass caught out of Davis Lake.

When they hauled a 17.34-pound bass out of Davis Lake last year my jaw dropped. How much can a bass grow in one years? I have to believe there are other fish like that out there.

The world record is 22-pounds, 4-ounces. The Davis Lake monster was just 5-pounds off the mark.

Nothing in the world excites people like a big fish photo in the newspaper. Bring us your best shot.


• I want to see Chickasaw County get a communication center where we can dispatch 911 calls for Houston, Okolona, Woodland, Houlka and the rest of Chickasaw County. We are paying 911 fees on our phone bills. It all starts with a plan and people who want to see it happen.


• Do a story on a 500-employee factory coming to Chickasaw County.

I wish I could tell you this story was in the works, too. At this point I have heard nothing at this level is coming to Chickasaw County.

I do believe something like that could happen quick with the mega-site in Okolona and an auto-supplier. I also believe it will happen – the question that no one can answer is when.


• Do a story on plans to four-lane Highway 15 north to Pontotoc or south to U.S. Highway 82.

I have seen where Highway 15 is on the state’s four-lane plan. But just like the 500-employee factory, don’t hold your breath.

I do hope we never let this desire drop. Houston would boom if we could gain access to a four-lane highway.


• Paint crosswalks on the Square in downtown Houston. Yes, this one really sounds like a job straight out of my Job Jar. I’ve got a brush. Does anyone have some paint?


Anyone who wants to add something to the list or help me with one of these tasks needs to give me a call at 456-3771. But please be patient, I’m a busy man and I’ve got big dreams for this community and county.


Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at floyd.ingram@journalinc.com


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