It was a meeting still vividly etched in my memory.
Jim Webb Sr. had asked me to meet with him regarding a project he was about to launch. Having years earlier lost my job as Public Relations Director for Grit Publishing, as the company was purchased by Stauffer Communications and moved to Topeka, Kansas; I was taken back by Jim’s disclosure.
As he revealed his plan to give birth to the Webb Weekly, I thought the idea was doomed to failure and told him so. I explained my years with Grit and the struggles that existed with publishing a weekly paper. Those publications were becoming a thing of the past, yet Jim seemed determined to jump into the fray. When he added that his publication was going to be made available via the postal service at no cost to the recipient, I truly thought he was operating in a fantasy land.
His original proposal to me was to provide four pages of sports for each week’s publication. With many other things on my plate, that was a burden I wasn’t willing to take on. I thanked him for his interest in me but told him I wasn’t interested.
A few weeks later, Jim requested another face-to-face meeting. This time he asked if I would be willing to do a weekly column. That task seemed more reasonable. I asked what he wanted me to write about. He explained he would like the column to be about local sports or any topic that might have local interest. His only stipulation was that he didn’t want it to have a negative tone.
Still not sure Jim’s Webb Weekly idea would fly, I agreed to do a column. As I was about to leave the meeting, Jim asked, “One more thing. Could you get Bill Byham to write a weekly column also?”
That mission was accomplished, and Buck and I began our long-standing association with the paper. I have been privileged to continue Jim’s long ago request for the entire 20-year existence of Webb Weekly.
It has been a labor of love. I am grateful to Jim Webb Jr. and Steph Nordstrom for their continued trust and support. I look forward to a successful continuance of that vision Jim Webb Sr. shared with me 20 years ago.