H. Scott Seal


H. Scott Seal is the managing editor of the Portageville Missourian-News and has over 30 years of newspapering experience.


Portageville celebrates it's 69th Soybean Festival

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Portageville celebrates it's 69th Soybean Festival;

Acknowledging the workload

Whew!! I am glad the last couple of weeks are over with. Another soybean festival has now been put to rest.

I would like to give a shout out to the Portageville Chamber of Commerce for their hard efforts in making this years festival and ll the event associated with it the success it was.

With all new chamber officers and the soybean festival committee, this was their first time to plan, organize this years event. I would think, it was a learn- as- you -go kind of thing.

There was something for everyone in the entire family to do through the week.

For many, it began with Main Street Madness and the 5K run, sponsored by SRG Global, and then the Miss Soybean pageants, as well as a host of food and craft vendors.

Next on Monday night was the first Talent Show. There was only six acts. I know there are talented folks in Portageville. I was breaking a sweat, I might have to sing. But, I am the guy behind the camera making those sacrifices. So, the challenge is to have 12 talent acts next year.

Then with the Kiddie Parade, the floats and walking characters, that takes talent. A very good job by all.

Wednesday, was a little more relaxed as the community folks pulled together in a joint worship service. The Rev. Barron Willer gave a challenging word to those in attendance.

Finally, the Big Parade, the moment many look forward to all year. You got to hand it to the older generation. They continue to put the younger generation to shame with their floats. the Old Broads Plus One won First Place with "Old McDonald Had a Farm", and Second Place went to the Red Hat Society with "American Farm Family".

In this week's newspaper is our post edition of the Soybean Festival tabloid. It details this year's winners in the floats, walking characters, bands, and beauty pageants. I want to thank our advertisers for your support in making this happen. I also want to thank Laura Collins for composing the special keep sake edition. She spend a good deal of time and effort, and I thank her very much. If you see her on the street, please tell her Thank You as well. After all, this is a special edition about you, your town, your people, your businesses.

You will not find this on Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat or other social media, it is here in the pages of your local home town newspaper, the Portageville Missourian-News.

Now comes a time for rest as thoughts of next year begin in the back of our minds.

Next year will mark the 70th Anniversary. This will be your time to shine. Your newspaper is already thinking about publishing a special full color magazine prior to the event, maybe in the form of a For Your Information ("FYI") theme.

It is also time to focus on the holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

For me, I really do not care about seeing Christmas items on shelves in the middle of September with a little Halloween items mixed in.

In 1988-92 years, I work with Ralph Clayton at the Democrat-Argus in Caruthersville. He was a formal JC Penney manager. He talked about how their big city marketing department has ruined the term "Sale". They take every day prices, mark them up and then take off 30 percent. That same process has taken hold nation wide. There is no real sale, just mind manipulation. The same reasoning is applying to the early Christmas decorations. Problem is, we are going to be sick of seeing the same decorations at Thanksgiving. But what do I know, I am just a small town country editor.

You know what, being a small town with small town merchants, many of which are locally owned, does have its advantages. We do not have to think as the big city slickers and their marketing departments. As the Burger King slogan goes, and with a slight spin, "Make it your way at your place of business!"

Recently, it dawned on me this is my 42 year in the printing/newspaper business. I began working in the back printing shop of my grandfather's newspaper in Piedmont. I would walk from the elementary through town after school to the office. As a youngster I was amazed with the presses printing, the smell of ink and paper, well the whole printing process. I ask my uncle if there was something I could do. He said, "Does your hand fit a broom?" Well, it did! My job after school was to sweep up and take empty trash cans. My other job was the "Order Taker"! Each afternoon after school, I would take their break time orders and head across to Toney's Drug Store, where there was a soda fountain and bar. I was told to tell if there was a certain old lady working behind the bar, "to get the lead out!"

That happened once and never again.

This reminded me of a college buddy from Wiener, Ark. He says, "We have the One Stop store, cause once you stop there, you will never go back!"

In Junior High, I began at the bottom of the barrel, literally. We would get our printer's ink for the the newspaper press in 55 gallon drums. We used a hand pump with a long hose to put the ink in the ink fountains on the press. When the ink in the barrel got to a point that the pump would not work, we had to manually scrape out from the bottom of the barrel. You give a young kid a putty knife and an opportunity, I dove right in. I was doing a very important job. Yes, I did get get some ink on my clothes, but I was a kid at work. Momma did not think I needed to work that hard anymore.

Anyway, let's just say I have had my hand in the ink for a very long time. This make's my 19th year in Portageville. With working in Piedmont, the printing shop in ASU, the Hope Star in Ark., the Alexander City Outlook, Ala., the Waynesville Daily Guide, Mo., Puxico Press, Mo., Dexter Statesman, Mo., and here, I have seen, heard, and done every aspect in the newspaper business. My plan is that when I become 62 years old, that will be my 50th work anniversary, Lord willing I plan to retire.