By Gilda Morales
Six weeks after burying my brother Robert, I have begun to face the fact that I will never see him again, talk to him for hours on the phone, or text him with “breaking news.” I am also faced with the weighty responsibility of not only holding down a full-time job, but as the new owner of The Van Horn Advocate, helping Lisa Morton produce a quality newspaper for Culberson County and our subscribers. I have been so preoccupied with memorializing my brother and honoring his vision for the newspaper that I forgot that The Advocate truly belongs to the people of Van Horn and Culberson County.
Lisa has been instrumental in gently pointing out that revamping The Advocate does not mean that I love my brother less, just that our vision for the future of the paper is very different than Robert’s. Having worked for large newspapers when he was younger, my brother’s vision for The Advocate sometimes leaned toward modeling the paper after much larger publications. His goal was to cover not only local, but also state and national news. Lisa and I both mentioned to him that what locals want to see in their community newspaper and on the website edition is their families and especially children’s names and pictures in print along with more local coverage.
I believe that his last few issues were moving toward that goal, but his deteriorating health kept him from reaching his full potential. To that end, I have assumed the role of Owner/Editor, with publishing, editing, responsibilities and writing special articles. Fran Malafronte is the Finance Director, leaving Lisa to do what she does best…sales as General Manager and Advertising Executive.
We intend to make a concerted effort to cover as many local events, school events, meetings, club events, and ask our readership for contributions regarding engagements, quinces, weddings, and anything of local interest, as well as publishing guest columns of interest to the general public. We welcome any suggestions or input into making The Van Horn Advocate a more successful hometown newspaper, thus insuring my brother’s legacy and his memory. Please mail your suggestions and ideas to The Van Horn Advocate, P.O. Box 8, Van Horn, Texas 79855.
We hope you will keep your eye on The Advocate during this transition and appreciate all the support and encouragement Lisa has been given.