A Potts in the paper

Five years ago, before I even started writing for the Loudoun Times-Mirror, my mom was photographed at the Purcellville Farmer’s Market by staff photographer AJ Maclean. She was likely picking up vine tomatoes and red velvet dog cupcakes for our now-deceased black lab, Mollie.

I know this because every year since then, that same picture has printed in our Taste of Loudoun special section – five years now. In January, when we were planning this year’s Taste of Loudoun, I told my editors specifically, “Do not run that picture of my mom. It has run every year since it was taken and I’m sick of looking at it.”

Well here it is:

Mama Thumb
My mom rummages through the wares at the local fruit stand.

Managing Editor John Geddie said, “I don’t remember you saying that.”

My word is taken seriously around here.

All the key elements that describe my mom are prevalent: Pink scrubs, pink clogs, loose-fitting nursing pants, a cutline (caption) describing her, Linda James, as carrying “bags full of goods.”

Poor Andrew Sharbel, our new education reporter, who penned the accompanying article – he had no idea that his story would be illustrated by a picture that his been printed at nauseum.

The truth of the matter is that no one seems to notice or care about the picture but me, and now that I’ve seen it for the umpteenth time, it’s grown on me.

When I was a rookie reporter, the then-education reporter, Shannon Sollinger told me that it was her goal to get a Potts in the paper each week. The Potts’ are my maternal grandmother’s family.

When Loudoun was a much smaller county and there were more cows than people, my family dominated the coverage. It wasn’t hard to get a Potts in the Times-Mirror every Wednesday because back then we reported on the dairy industry and school sports at length.

As the county expanded, the Potts domination shrunk, she said, until I started my weekly bylines.

“Now there will be a Potts in the paper each week,” she said.

I’d like to think that even after I’m gone from here, my mom’s picture will prevail. In 25 years, I want to return to the Times-Mirror in April to see Linda James’ photo in Taste of Loudoun.

I want to gaze upon her perusing the wares in Purcellville 30 years earlier, and forever encapsulated in her element. If there can’t be a Potts in the paper every week, at least I can be assured there will be one every year – at this rate, at least.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s