We mourn the loss of two former Post employees

Published 12:34 pm Friday, June 17, 2016

The great writer T.S. Eliot once penned “the purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.”

While we are not one to routinely correct such a great writer, we might change that particular line just a big.

We would suggest “the purpose of journalism is to turn blood into ink.”

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Over the past few days, our family tree of journalists has suffered two heartbreaking losses.

Wednesday evening, longtime food editor at The Vicksburg Post, Laurin Fields Stamm, died at the age of 83.

Thursday, the newspaper’s longtime society editor Martha Day, died at the age of 85.

Both leave behind beloved family members, scores of friends, and thanks to their decades of work at The Post, they leave behind a treasure trove of fans and loyal readers.

Former Post managing editor Karen Gamble said of Stamm, “she was at The Post for more than 50 years, and, to my knowledge, she never missed an assignment … even when she was having her five children.”

Since 1883, The Post — whatever name the flag carried at the time — has been Vicksburg’s newspaper. It has covered the great times and the times of great tragedy.

But, the greatest impact on the lives the newspaper has touched, likely did not come from the stories on the front page. Instead, it was the content those like Stamm and Day helped create and publish.

Wedding announcements, recipes and birth announcements were compiled and written and without a doubt clipped and placed on bulletin boards and scrapbooks.

Writers such as Stamm and Day put their lives into the pages of the newspaper, and in doing so, helped create the soul of the newspaper.

The newspaper is made of paper and ink, but the life of the newspaper is made up of those who give so much to its creation.

Today, we mourn the loss of our friends and predecessors, but we celebrate both the lives they lived and the lives they touched.