It’s true - one can gasp aloud when reading the morning newspaper. That was my reaction this morning when I read the obituary of Nancy Maier, whom I worked for 20 years ago at Grapevine. I actually dropped the newspaper back onto the table in disbelief.
Nancy gave me my first regular writing job in 1990, when on the basis of few articles I had written, she offered me a regular column in Grapevine, Fayetteville’s long-running alternative newspaper.
I learned a lot from Nancy Maier, much of which I put into play when I worked at the Ozark Gazette. I became a better writer because she took the time to work with me, to show me what worked, and what didn’t work.
She was a conscientious person, and cared very much about the paper that she was putting out.
We also worked together on the board of directors of Fayetteville Open channel, during the Great Access War, where she took her responsibilities as a board member very seriously.
Before I left Grapevine in 1992, one of the projects she expressed an interest in seeing the Grapevine do was a series of follow-ups to stories that had appeared in the 70s and 80s. I’m sorry the paper closed before this could have come about.
I had my share of differences with Nancy (this not being a perfect world), but I always knew that she was a good person. She made a difference to Fayetteville, and she should be honored for that.
Oh, yeah, and when she saw me walking down the street towards the Grapevine building on West Avenue, sometimes she would stick her head out the window and yell, “Hey, Stanley!” and laugh, because she knew I don’t much care for my middle name.
That’s what I think I’ll remember the most, Nancy Maier laughing out of her window, yelling out my middle name.
Nancy’s funeral will be held at 2pm Wednesday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville.