Hello, Jackson County. I wanted to take a few minutes or a few hundred words to introduce myself. I’m very excited to be taking on the role of publisher of the Altus Times.
I’m a Texan, but please don’t hold that against me just because you folks live north of the Red River. I grew up in the Piney Woods of East Texas…a child of the 1980s. I guess that’s just another way of saying I’m getting older. You’ll notice that I said older…not old. I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago. If legendary OU football coach Barry Switzer…who has always had a way with words…were standing in front of me today, he’d say, “Son, they hung half a hundred on you!”
Fifty years old. Half a century. When you put it in those terms, you realize just how quickly the world turns. My Dad, whom I consider to be the finest man I have ever known, once said, “One day I was 30 years old and had two little boys running around the house. The next thing I knew, I was 50 and you guys were both grown.”
I now know exactly what he meant. I have three teenagers of my own. Wait a minute…check that. My oldest is no longer a teenager. She turned 20 a week before I turned 50. Maybe I am old after all. My twin boys are 17…seniors in high school this year. And they’re both taller than me…have been for some time now. I knew I was going to end up on the losing end of that battle. I just didn’t know it would happen so quickly.
Family means a lot to me. I guess when your Dad is one of 11 kids and your Mom is one of six, family can’t help but play a huge role in your life. It certainly has for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I graduated from Texas A&M in 1993 and spent about a dozen years working in the television news business. News in Austin, sports in San Antonio, then reporting and anchoring the news for a few years in Lufkin. Loved every minute of it…even on those days that sometimes crushed our collective spirit, like the day the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated and fell back to Earth right over our heads in East Texas. That one hurt…badly. But we pulled together and rebounded as a nation the way we always seem to do.
After I got married and had kids, working until midnight just wasn’t nearly as glamorous as it once was. I moved into the business world, and a few years later here I am with Hicks Media…back in the business of journalism. The world does indeed come full circle.
I’ll be here in the paper from time to time. You’ll find out about my passion for sports…about how my Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers tend to give me stomach ulcers far too often. But I can’t quit them.
I’m a youth league baseball umpire, which is always good for a few stories. I’ll share those with you on occasion.
Feel free to email me. You’ll find my email address below.
I very much look forward to it.
You can reach Jay Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org