Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 23, 2013

Is there a better guy alive than Jayson Larson?

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — About every few weeks, Jayson Larson, the editor of the Athens Review says, “Kathi, it’s your turn to write a column for Saturday.” Since he is a short-timer, I should just put him off or ignore him. But that wouldn’t be fair. When I say short timer, Jayson will be leaving the Athens Review in a week. And I am not a happy camper.

I would like to say he is moving on to greener pastures, but I hope the grass is not green, but dead. No, really I hope Jayson does good in his future endeavors. If he fails, he may come back to the Athens Review. Some would say that is karma and it may come back to get me. Since I am one of those people who really does believe in karma, I  have to reframe and wish Jayson good luck, but I don’t have to like it.

Jayson’s one of those young men you just can’t help but like, not sure why. There must be something there, everyone likes Jayson. I guess it could be his personality, or perhaps his quick sense or maybe even his unique perspective. Who knows, maybe all of those things. What I do know, for many many years I have enjoyed working with Jayson.

I met Jayson back in the early 2000s. He was a very young reporter at the Athens Review. I was old enough to be his, let’s just say very very older sister. OK, maybe I am older than his mother, the point is I have known him many years.

I have worked with Jayson in many different capacities  at the newspaper. When I met Jayson I was advertising director at the Athens Review and he was a reporter in the editorial department. In 2004, he became editor of the Cedar Creek Pilot. By this time, I was general manager at the Pilot. In 2011 when they combined the Athens Review and Cedar Creek Pilot, Jayson was sports editor at the Review. For the past year he has been editor of the Review and I have been a reporter in the editorial department. See how it works, now he is the parent and I am the child.

I even sold Jayson and his family a house a few years back when I was selling real estate. The saying, “Traveled a few roads together,” is true in Jayson’s and my case.

I have watched Jayson throughout the years become a seasoned, professional journalist. Jayson has handled himself very professional as the editor of the Review. He’s young but very much on top of his game. It’s not easy being the editor of a newspaper. You are always trying to please someone. 

After 20 years with the Cedar Creek Pilot and Athens Review, I have seen many employees come and go. I can name a number of them I hated to see them leave. Certain people just make your job fun and interesting. Jayson is one of those people for me.

Everyone here at the Review will have their reasons for missing Jayson. Some will say because he knows so much about the paper. Very true. He’s a talented writer, also true. There are still others who consider Jayson a good friend. For me, it will be his ability to write headlines.  He’s the best I’ve seen in a very long time. My favorite headline was the story about the man who used someone else’s urine to pass a drug test. Like many crooks, he got caught. Jayson’s headline was “Urine trouble.” It was a classic and won an award with Texas Press Association and Northeast Texas Press Association (even if our publisher was a little uneasy at first). Ironically, one of Jayson’s last duties will be to come up with a headline for this column.

But the real reason I will miss Jayson is our in-depth conversations we have about nothing. The discussions Jayson and I  have will definitely be missed. Very few people can have conversations as unfiltered as we do. People who overhear us talking, just shake their heads. Sometimes they think we’re arguing, but we’re just passionate about what’s being discussed.

Once again I will be saying  good-bye to a co-worker I admire and I have enjoyed my association with for many years. At the end of the day, when all is said and done I do wish Jayson great success with his new opportunity.

Kathi Nailling is news editor of the Athens Review. She can be reached at knailling@athensreview.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For some reason, I didn’t have any problems writing this headline. — Jayson