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My life is coming full circle

Jeff Jobe was honored to meet Edith “Edie” Bingham at the event he attended in Paris, Kentucky. Her husband Barry Bingham, Jr. hired him for his first newspaper job at the Courier-Journal & Louisville Times Company. Submitted photo.

By Jeff Jobe, Owner/Publisher

As I begin to transition myself into a more balance of work and leisure, I am finding my mind freeing up old fond memories and this past weekend was filled with them.

I was honored to attend a luncheon at the Historic Paris Train Depot In Bourbon County and was recognized for some work I have done on the Downtown Glasgow Square, specifically the “Yancey Brewery” and “Yancey Square” projects.

In their words: “I was named the 2023 Tim Peters and Lois Mateus Making a Difference on Main Street Award for your renovation and repurposing of historic downtown buildings, formation of a downtown business association and redevelopment of the Public Square, which served as a catalyst to revitalize the Main Street corridor and heart of downtown Glasgow!”

The drive was in the neighborhood of three hours and at the suggestion of friends at coffee that morning, I drove back roads much of the way.

My mind is more clear now because I am not worrying about steak quantities, bourbon deliveries and scheduling entertainment anymore now that I have sold the Yancey operations to Andrew and Jenny Hubbell.

I was thinking this as I drove to Paris and found myself slowing down to look at a barn with hills filled with full green growth behind them. I remembered the barns and hills of my own hometown and the small one-lane roads that made their way through them.

As I sat at the wonderfully-renovated train depot’s Trackside Restaurant and Bar, I was reminded of growing up as close to the train track in Greenup, Ky as I was sitting at that moment. I thought of playing on the loading dock at the depot we had and how it was torn down sometime in the late 1970s.

As I shared a conversation with Lois Mateus, I realized this amazing woman is a retired Brown-Forman senior executive. She was one of three major shareholders in the development of Woodford Reserve bourbon and creation of the brand’s distillery and visitors’ center in Woodford County.  I was realizing this woman was honoring me and I began to get nervous.

As I listened to the other presenters and the accomplishments of some amazing people, a strong confident woman grabbed my attention, Edith “Edie” Bingham.

I soon realized this wonderful speaker was the wife of the man who gave me my first job inside the newspaper industry and the man who introduced me to the career I have devoted my time and passion to for 38 years. A career that has provided a good life filled with blessings for me and my children.  It has indeed changed the trajectory for the Jobe family.

I wasn’t informed I would be required to give an acceptance speech and I’m sure those who know me most will find it hard to believe that I was overwhelmed with emotion and somewhat speechless. I am proud that I had this opportunity and pulled together some sincere thoughts.

I spoke of how I believe life often brings you full circle to a place you have been before to show you how much you have grown, or accomplished.

I began with here I stand today on a loading dock and next to a railroad track which leads to the one I grew up on.

I shared that I got to speak with a wonderful former executive of Brown-Forman, Lois, who funds a scholarship making my daughter a “Brown Fellow.” And that I am the man I am standing before you because Edie’s husband gave me the opportunity and training to help me stand above others in a very challenging industry.

I thanked them all on behalf of my new home in Glasgow, Kentucky and welcomed them all to visit anytime.

I sat down and was overwhelmed by the reception I received after speaking.

As I close please join me as I give appreciation to my chosen industry and remember that the first week of October is National Newspaper Week. I pledge to do all I can to continue giving back as much as I possibly can to the communities who have supported us at the newspaper for as long as God is willing to allow me to do so.

Thank you and I hope when your life begins to come to a full circle your memories are as special as mine certainly have become.

Community Publisher Jeff Jobe thanks Lois Mateus, at right, and Kentucky Historic Preservation for honoring him with an award for the work he has done on the square in downtown Glasgow. Submitted photo.

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