Sanders County Ledger - Your Best Source For Sanders County News

View from the Sidelines


January 9, 2020

The math of everyday life can be confusing.

Take our current year of existence, 2020, for an example.

Is it now Twenty-Twenty, or is it Two-thousand Twenty?

Take the way we pronounce numbers for another example.

Heard a promo on TV the other day and I had to do a double-take.

The announcer, in my mind, said: “Watch the 60-second Grammys award show on CBS.”

What was actually said was: “Watch the 62nd Grammys award show on CBS.”

Sure, it was only temporary (60 second?) confusion, but it was confusion nonetheless, and now has me wondering about by own basic sanity. Especially after working at a place like the Sanders County Ledger for so many years.

Speaking of the numbers game, I started working in this place in the 20th century and here I am, still doing it in the 21st.

This may seem like an old man growing even older and forgetting where his butt is sitting right now, but I wonder if anyone else has had a problem with the numbers game like I have been having lately.


Problems with numbers is one thing but problems with names cannot be explained away.

The story in last week’s Ledger about the Keg Bowl football game stated that a George Shopp donated the namesake keg of beer to the event the past two years.

The actual name of that beer donor is George Scott, one of the bigger sports fans I have ever met in the greater Sanders County area.

Thanks again George!


We have been operating with a hole in our hearts here at the Ledger these past few weeks and I think everybody knows why by now.

Long-time Ledger writer and contributor Jay Simons unexpectedly passed away last month and, ever since we learned about it, the crew in our office has been a little subdued, a little less likely to joke around than we normally are.

Jay and the Ledger go way back together, in fact she was working for the newspaper since before I started writing here way back in 1990.

Working as the reporter for the West End, Jay wrote a lot of important stories about local news events during her time at the Ledger. Some of the issues she covered were controversial and folks did not always want to talk to her on the record, but she made the best of it and consistently produced quality content for the newspaper she worked for and loved.

Most recently, the steady Question of the Week presenter to the public, Jay had slowed down on her investigative reporting in her later years, but held the Question of the Week duties close to her heart right until the very end of her career, actually right up to the end of her life.

Reflecting back on the time we did work together in the office, Jay and I didn’t always agree with each other on everything but, looking back, that is really all right anyway.

Not agreeing on everything didn’t mean we couldn’t still be friends, and we all grew to admire what a really great person Jay was, for the stand-up way she lived her life every day.

Who among us has donated more of their personal time and resources to worthy causes than our Jay? If a neighbor needed help, or if the local food bank needed anything Jay was always the first one there to offer aid.

And that is not even mentioning her family as Jay spent every waking hour of her life worrying about and caring for her son Scotty.

I know Jay Simons was just her pen name, but it is the way I will always remember her.

Jay Simons, aka Judith Simonson, I am glad I met you, you made all our lives just a little bit better.


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