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You are here: Home Opinion Paula I. Bryant Ever mindful

Ever mindful

It has been three years today since Gazette-Virginian publisher Keith Shelton departed this life.

But his presence and passion for his newspaper continues to be felt almost on a daily basis at the Gazette office. 

Indeed we can say it’s not the same here without him, and we find it hard to believe that it’s been three years since his untimely passing.

A true newspaperman like Keith Shelton may have passed away, but the essence of his colorful, vibrant, intelligent, controversial and community-concerned efforts will never die, wrote fellow journalist Bruce Wilkins shortly after Keith’s death.

No truer words have been spoken.

As times change, the likes of such newspapermen as Mr. Shelton are falling by the wayside, just as the time and style and colorfulness of their methods of delivering the news, Wilkins wrote.

“Politicians and businessmen don’t fear the newspaper as they once did. In so many cases, newspapers have to submit to outside forces they once hounded for honesty and fairness with the community. Keith Shelton realized long before most people that these days were inevitably coming. But he gave it the good fight as much and as long as any editor in the history of Southside Virginia. His father would have been proud.”

And I am reminded everyday of Keith’s lifelong passion for journalism and what he wanted from “his newspaper” when I look at the framed photo of the “gruff, hard-hitting, old school style of politician” Wendell Wilkie that ye olde editor proudly hung on the wall behind what is now my newsroom desk.

Thanks for the reminder, Keith. Your daily presence continues to be missed but is often felt here.

It’s just not the same without you.