My Sojourn at The Savannah Tribune

Sharon Smiley
Sharon Smiley

My sojourn at The Savannah Tribune has been invaluable to my life’s journey. It seems, not so long ago, that I stood on the sidewalk outside The Savannah Tribune office at 916 Montgomery Street with my husband, Zyon, and our three-year old son, Zyon Jordan. One week earlier, we had moved from Wichita, KS, with no prospects of jobs or housing for a fresh start in this new area. My first and only job interview was with Mr. Robert E. James for a position at The Savannah Tribune. The interview was completely informal, and I felt a sense of belonging and acceptance of the fact that

The Tribune was the right fit for me and my family.

I believe that if you are doing all you can to live an honest and righteous life, you will be led in the path that is designed specifically for you. Therefore, I had no doubt that The Savannah Tribune was where I needed to be at that time in my life, and 12 years later, I am even more convinced that I made the right choice.

I have had a most rewarding experience at The Tribune–academically, socially and spiritually. Because The Tribune is a small, family-owned business, I have had the opportunity to acquire numerous skills in the newspaper industry and in business. This would certainly not have happened if I had spent the past 12 years with a larger publication. I will be forever grateful that I was able to gain such broad knowledge and insights into a field that is a source of great influence in our society.

As my time at The Tribune draws to a close, perhaps the most important things that I will take with me are the friendships that I have made over the years. That, after all, is what life is mainly about. The relationships we develop with those we come in contact with are what we take with us as we journey through this life and beyond.

I have been blessed to meet many wonderful people during my time at The Tribune. They are too numerous to mention, and I, of all people, should know that because this is a newspaper, there is only so much space available. However, there are few people that I must thank for the lasting impact that they have had on this most remarkable journey.

Robert and Shirley James probably do not fully realize how grateful I am for the flexible hours that were afforded me during the times that I had to be available for my children. I say children, because during my time at

The Tribune, Zyon and I added our daughter, Zysha, to The Tribune family. Mr. James sometimes refers to Zysha as “The Tribune baby” because she literally spent the first few years of her life at The Tribune. What a blessing for me to be given that opportunity to have my daughter with me while I assisted Zyon in bringing home the bacon.

Mr. and Mrs. James are good examples of what family should mean to each of us and to society as a whole. It is so evident to me how much they love and care for their children. Being at The Tribune was not just a job for me, it was a well-rounded education in life and the James’ are wonderful teachers.

I also wish to thank my many co-workers who came and went over the years. They all made positive and lasting impacts on my life and l was able to learn something new from each of them. I know that The

Tribune has gained an asset in the person of Tanya Milton, and I am glad that I was able to work with her as she took the paper to a new level. I wish Tanya and all the new staff well as they continue to serve Savannah and the surrounding communities.

As I make my transition to a new career in education, I take with me all that I have learned and all the friendships that I have made. I am a much better person for having been a part of The Tribune family, and I hope that I can gain as much satisfaction in my new calling as I did during my time at the newspaper.

To all Tribune associates, contributors, reporters and others–Bishop Earl Coleman, Mama Rachel Thomas, Walter Moore, Van R. Johnson, Desmond Duval, Carolyn Guilford, Estelle Mannion, Henry Cobb, Sherrie Williams, Donald Singleton, Mrs. June Well, Elizabeth Wallace, all the folks at Carver State Bank and all the many other friends I have made over the years–I just want to say “thank you” as I close this chapter of my life.

I will still come around.

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