Changes can be scary but fear shouldn#8217;t control us

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 20, 2006

You won’t find it as the villain in any horror movies, but many people run screaming at the mere mention.

And it is unlikely there are any fancy words ending with -phobia to describe it.

Regardless, one of greatest causes of fear in this world can be summed up with one five-letter word: Change.

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Many people are, by nature, creatures of habit. We drive the same roads, eat at the same places and find comfort in things that are familiar to us.

When change is forced on us it can really make people uncomfortable.

I can relate since I recently had to face some change myself. Was it something earth-shattering and life changing? Oh, no, but it still had me on edge.

See, I had to find a new barber.

OK, I know that doesn’t sound too scary at all and I am really not a vain, superficial person.

The problem was I have had the same lady, Shirley, cut my hair for quite a while. Like, 20 years a while, ever since I was about 11 years old.

Math is not my strongest suit but I can tell you that is a lot of trims.

I even followed this woman from one shop to another. But she packed up her scissors and combs recently, riding off into the beautician sunset.

That left me looking for a new choice of getting groomed. I did find a place that did a great job. (Ironically, a nice lady named Shirley cut my hair.)

The point to that rambling story is that often change can be scary but the outcome is rarely as bad as it first seems.

At The Ironton Tribune, we are always looking at change, trying to find the best way to serve our readers and be the best newspaper we can be.

We recently encountered some of these same concerns with change over our annual high school football section, affectionately known as the Pigskin Preview.

For years, the section has been in a normal newspaper style, with a similar cover and similar content and similar results: People love it.

Though we didn’t want to fix something that technically wasn’t broken, the Tribune staff thought it might be good to shake things up.

This Thursday, you will see the results. We think you will be pleased at what we have been able to accomplish.

Sports editor Jimmy Walker deserves tremendous praise for his long hours of work to work out the bugs of this new format for the football section and to track down all the team photos and information.

We worked hard to create an overall package that features all the schools and as many local athletes as possible.

The different format required some changes to some of the more traditional things, such as the cover that has become a gridiron tradition with Bob Clyse.

But we think everyone will agree that these were positive changes.

The only regret we had with the change is that the smaller cover limited the amount of people we could put on it and still make it dynamic and readable.

With that in mind, I am asking every cheerleader advisor, band director and fall sports coach in the county to send us a group picture. They can be e-mailed to me or dropped off to my attention.

We have some ideas that will make sure these individuals get some special recognition of their own.

Change is inevitable in life. We all just need to accept it and see the positives rather than allowing ourselves to be fooled into thinking that familiar equals better.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at