Happy Birthday to Us!

Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 18 Feb 16 - 0 Comments

This month Dolphin Talk celebrates the 20th Anniversary of its founding on February 9, 1996. We have been very pleased to receive several compliments recently from our readers, making us feel that perhaps persistence and hard work have been appreciated.

We are so thankful to all those who contribute to the content of this publication – some only once or occasionally – some every month – some receiving a small stipend – most with no monetary compensation. Without their assistance, this would be a very small paper indeed. Special thanks to our advertisers – especially our long-term advertisers. Without their financing, there would be no paper at all.

Dolphin Talk has grown from a few hundred copies per issue to 5,000 (a little less in winter months), plus those who follow us on our web site and Facebook page. We appreciate every one of you and always welcome your comments and contributions of news and photos.

Since this is a special occasion for us, we have included in this issue an article telling how we got started.

20 Years of Dolphin Talk

Dolphin Talk – Port O’Connor/Seadrift News
Established February 9, 1996 by Margaret Jennings

In case you ever wondered how this little publication came about: In the fall of 1995, Margaret Jennings, a retired English teacher, and Charlotte Graham, a real estate agent, began to discuss how this community had no way, other than posting signs at Alvin’s and Shamrock, and by word of mouth, to spread the word about fundraisers, club activities, and other happenings. They agreed it would be a good idea for Port O‘Connor to have its own paper.

I just happened to overhear Margaret asking a business person if she would advertise in a local publication if we had one. I had lived in Port O’Connor about a year, had lots of free time on my hands, and my work experience was in print shops, newspapers and magazines. So, naturally, I interjected myself into the conversation, volunteering to be the proof-reader for the paper when, and if, one was started.

I didn’t hear any more about it until about February 1, 1996, when Margaret called and said if I was still interested in helping with a paper, I should come to Charlotte’s house that afternoon. In addition to Margaret, Charlotte, and me, a young lady named Debra Tomas was there. After some discussion, we decided we would give it a try. Margaret said I was to cover the churches, the Scouts, and fishing. And, we were going to have our first issue out in one week!

We received permission from the Chamber of Commerce to use their postal permit, got the issue together, and mailed out on time. We felt it was quite an accomplishment, even if it was only four pages. I remember a lady (Pat Stubbs) at church the next Sunday, telling me how she read and enjoyed every word, “even the commercials”.

Early on, Debra moved from the area. After several years as typesetter, plus handling the advertising, billing and some reporting, Charlotte also moved away. Margaret was always the editor and principal writer. She really knew what she was doing, and worked tirelessly even after becoming housebound due to poor health. She passed away in 2002.

Providing crucial help in various capacities over the years have been: Bill Tigrett, Ann Pesek, Shirley Gordon, Joane McDonough, Bob Hill, John Reneau, Chris Mapp, JJ and Sam Ault, and Jasmine and Jackson Gordon. I can’t thank you all enough. Also, thanks to regular contributing writers Clint Bennetsen, Phil Ellenberger, Sue Kubecka, Kelly Gee, Thomas Spychalski, William Brayshaw, Peter DeForest, Wesley J Hunt, Brigid Berger, Rhonda Cummins and our local pastors and fishing guides who submit articles for our readers’ enjoyment; to club reporters and correspondents from other organizations who keep us informed. And a special thanks to everyone who gives us news to put in the paper,—birthdays, weddings, special occasions, fishing photos, etc. Your input is what makes this a community paper.

My memory is not what it used to be, so if I forgot to mention a contributor’s name, please accept my apologies. But I certainly can’t forget to thank our advertisers. I hope (and have heard affirmatively) that advertising with Dolphin Talk has been beneficial to you. Our only source of revenue is our advertisers. Without advertisers there would be no Dolphin Talk. So, double thanks to all of you!

I am happy that we have been able to expand into Seadrift and now even cover some of the happenings in Port Lavaca and beyond. If you haven’t guessed, there are no “ranging reporters” like big city papers have. You, the reader, fill that position, so please keep your news coming our way. Comments and suggestions are welcome. And, remember, we need your news!

It has been more than a pleasure for me to be a part of this publication. I hope Dolphin Talk can continue to serve our community for years to come.

Thank you for reading Dolphin Talk!

Joyce Rhyne, Editor

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