OFF THE CUFF

Early last week, a man and woman I know walked into the Houston Herald office and offered up some information.

It was Bucyrus residents Virgle and Donra McCown, and they said they thought we “might be interested” in the fact Virgle had taken second place in the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association 2019 World Horseshoes Tournament in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“Heck yes, I’m interested!” I said. “And congratulations!”

“Some of our friends kept telling us we should let the paper know,” Donra said.

“I’m glad they did!” I said. “That’s a big story!”

As a result of the McCowns sharing the news, an article detailing the situation can be found in this week’s issue of the Herald.

The reason I bring this up is simple: If they hadn’t bothered to let the local newspaper know about Virgle’s success at a big-time horseshoes event, the local newspaper most likely would never have known about it. In turn, the local citizens wouldn’t have known either.

I’ve mentioned this before and after this enjoyable encounter with the McCowns, I figured this was a good time to go do so again.

Here’s the deal: There are so many amazing people in Texas County doing so many amazing things, there is absolutely no possibility for the small group of people who put together the Herald to know about them all. In turn, there’s often literally only one way for us to find out about a given situation, and that’s by being told by someone who was involved, or at least has knowledge about it.

I probably thanked the McCowns about six times for letting me know about Virgle’s big accomplishment. And I say “big” because it was. He was runner-up in his class in pretty much the biggest horseshoe competition on planet Earth.

For us in the business, not being able to report on something of that nature would be a shame. Conversely, getting the chance to spread such news is what it’s all about.

Here’s the rest of the deal: Information from sources “in the know” is how I’ve found out in the past about many newsworthy people who live in Texas County, like a world champion skeet shooter, a world champion long-range marksman, an award-winning wood carver and a man who fights giant wildfires in the Western U.S., to name only a few.

Just to further the point, it’s probably safe to say that we don’t need to hear about every winner of a backyard cornhole game or corndog eating challenge. We don’t have nearly enough time or personnel to chase down things like that.

I think the key is the “newsworthy” aspect. Obviously, that includes a fair amount of subjectivity, but I believe it can also be measured and recognized with a bit of common sense.

The bottom line is we want to share information about the various cool and remarkable things going on in this county. But we can’t always do that without a little help now and then.

Let me put it this way: I really don’t mind digging around myself to find interesting content for stories, but I also love it when good stuff is shared with us. 

In all sincerity, I’d like to offer my thanks – ahead of time – for the information that will hopefully come our way and result in a “good read” for fans of the Herald.

FACT CHECK See inaccurate information in this story? Tell us here.

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