THERE are among us those who might be described as visionaries — people who come up with great ideas. There are also among us those I would call “doers” — people who take those ideas and make them work.
Natalie Fairhead, who died last week, could come up with some pretty good ideas on her own, but at heart she was one of Columbus’ doers.
That became abundantly clear to me when I first met her in the newsroom of the old Evening Republican (later to be named The Republic) when it was at the corner of Fifth and Franklin streets, present home of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.
It was 1967, and I was senior in service to her at the newspaper by a few months. I was the sports editor, and she was a receptionist and retail advertising saleswoman. Those jobs didn’t last long. Her real love was in the newsroom, and she convinced me that we needed a “woman’s angle” on a pretty big golf tournament Otter Creek was hosting.
She wrote that, and the next thing I knew she was a feature writer and what we called the church editor. Titles didn’t mean much in those days. We basically did whatever needed to be done or what we were told.
The thing about Natalie was that she often went beyond collecting information, taking photos (we were all staff photographers then) and writing stories. She got involved with the people and things she wrote about.
I suppose there’s a fine line of neutrality somewhere in journalism over which reporters shouldn’t step, but Natalie either didn’t pay much attention to it or didn’t even know it existed.
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