Please allow me to introduce myself. My existence in the realm of virtual reality permits me to go anywhere, keeping my ears up and my nose to the ground. I listen to people’s concerns and sometimes give voice to them. I also have opinions of my own and freely express them. I welcome letters.
The actual humans who make The Paper a physical reality are a dedicated group of volunteers who use their skills in whatever way they can to get it published and distributed.
They do it because they believe that Buchanan needs – and deserves – its own newspaper.
We all look forward to the day when we can begin to pay our writers, and hire a support staff. We would also like to have a “real” office, other than our current “virtual” one.
PS: People are asking about Beulah Buckminster, our new columnist who just wants to have fun. Well, they’ll just have to keep guessing, I guess.
“We’re all in this together”…
Heidi Ott Burks,
With special thanks to:
Mary Vincent, Don Holmes,
Cindy Benson and Doyle Vergon for doing whatever it takes to get The Paper out there and into the hands of Buchanan Readers; to our regular writers, Jan Ferris, Louann Gardner, Jill McDonald, Jan Wiezorek, Jon Young and Van David Young for their consistent and excellent submissions.
…And when school is in session, Jessica Elliott and her journalism class at BHS.
(In this section we’ll be introducing team members – ALL interesting, accomplished people.)
Don Holmes, former owner and publisher of The Berrien County Record
If there is a secret formula to staying young, Don Holmes just might have it. The lifelong Buchanan resident, who turns 91 this fall, could pass for someone in his 70s. He has the energy, and schedule, of a man at the peak of his career.
And while many factors can play into someone’s longevity, Holmes credits his to a simple thing that most people enjoy everyday: “Music,” he proudly proclaims. “I sing and I dance.”
If you’ve been to the summer concert series downtown, you’ve probably noticed Don. He expresses his approval of a good tune by dancing among the audience.
He can also be found at McCoy Creek Tavern on Fridays, where he frequents the local karaoke scene. He even celebrated a recent milestone birthday there with his daughters, Bonnie Chadderdon and Julie Chalpan; friends, and of course, some singing.
For Holmes, who also sings at the Acorn Theater open mic night and is a staple at the Round Barn Winery concerts, a busy schedule is nothing new.
After 18 years at Clark as a manager in the data processing department, he purchased the Berrien County Record in 1978. “Since I owned the newspaper they let me work eight days a week, 25 hours a day,” said Holmes, who ran The Record until 1999. “I’m not kidding. I worked very hard.” (Ed. Note: Don is one of our “Paper Boys,” delivering them to our outlets as soon as he can get his hands on them.)
The 1946 Buchanan High School graduate did a little bit of everything for the paper. He taught himself photography, wrote a weekly column and sold advertising.
“I was on the go,” Holmes said. “I had a police scanner at home, I had a police scanner at the office. I would be at the scene of an accident before the police got there.”
Don transitioned through a few careers during his professional life, but one thing always remained constant: His involvement and pride in Buchanan.
He has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce and American Legion for over 60 years. He still does the public relations for the Clark retirees and Korean veterans, both of which meet once a month. He has helped organize parades, Buchanan Fest and numerous concerts.
“He is probably the biggest cheerleader of Buchanan,” said his daughter Bonnie. “Everywhere he goes he tells everyone what’s happening in Buchanan and how he doesn’t know why anybody would want to live anywhere else, because we have everything here.”
-excerpted from an article by Jon Young in Issue 17.