McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Breaking News


December 6, 2011

Good night, Carol

McALESTER — There is a song from one of my favorite Broadway musicals — “Wicked” — that is called “For Good.” The words are between two friends. “Because I knew you I have been changed for good.”  Today I say goodbye to someone who definitely changed me for good.

Carol Shackelford has been part of the News-Capital team for many years. To be honest, I probably would not be here if it weren’t for Carol. Needless to say the News-Capital runs fairly parallel to this community. It’s challenging for a newcomer to find a place among the lifers. I joined the NC team in 2000 and out of everyone, Carol Shackelford was the most welcoming. There was never a doubt in my mind she loved this newspaper and she cared about everyone here unconditionally.

After several months of jumping through hundreds of hoops and feeling totally frustrated and bullied, I was at the end of my rope. Carol sensed I needed some kind words. She told me to hang in there. She said I had to earn my stripes and that if I just kept being tough and was willing to learn, everyone else would come around eventually. She encouraged me every day. Truth be told, I am certain she encouraged others to give me a break now and again. Carol taught me about the newspaper business. There was never a time when she was too busy to explain something to me. Carol was fair and treated everyone with respect. We all seemed to behave better whenever she was around.

She had this infectious laugh that you could hear from the other room. It was always so entertaining to hear her cutting up with other members of the sales team. I can only imagine what her thoughts were, hearing the wild conversations from women several years her junior. She kept up and always participated in the conversations.

Carol had an unyielding work ethic. She was always here. If it was icy and slick, she was here. If she was sick, she was here. There were numerous times that she was here long after everyone else had clocked out for the day. It was during those times she and I would chat for a few minutes. The conversation was always about our children. She was an incredible mother and loved her family with every fiber of her being. Her eyes would always sparkle when she spoke about her girls or her grandchildren. Love of family was something we shared. She would always tell me to go home and get a life. I would say it right back to her and we would laugh. Whichever one of us left first would always tell the other goodnight and have a good evening.

Carol was a remarkable woman. She was kind and caring. I do not recall her ever saying a cross word to anyone here at work. She was funny. I will miss her very much. I am humbled to have known her. And because I knew her I have been changed — for good.

Amy Johns is the publisher at the McAlester News-Capital. Contact her at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Donald Sterling needs to go away

    Whether it happens due to a quick settlement or a likely longer trial, Clippers owner Donald Sterling just needs to go away.

    June 19, 2014

  • Kevin Durant Kevin Durant’s grace period will end soon

    After his 7th season ended Saturday with the Thunder’s Game 6 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, the grace period for Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant may soon be drawing to a close.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Could the NCAA Tournament work for other sports?

    The NCAA men's basketball tournament is the most profitable postseason in the U.S., so why couldn't other leagues copy its format?

    March 23, 2014

  • Tsarnaev death sentence brings no peace

    If Dzhokhar is found guilty and executed for his alleged role in the April 15 bombing of the Boston Marathon, I’ll sleep no better.

    January 31, 2014

  • Final observations from the Pitt 8

    A few observations leftover from an immensely exciting six days of basketball at the Pitt 8 Tournament.

    January 26, 2014

  • So far, Big 12 holding its own

    The Big 12 Conference hasn't dominated the 2013-14 bowl season, but its teams have definitely held their own.

    January 3, 2014

  • Fins’ Incognito deserves banning

    No matter the job, a line still exists between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, between behavior that creates a productive work environment and a hostile one, and Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito crossed that line in his treatment of Jonathan Martin.

    November 11, 2013

  • Sox prove ‘team’ still matters

    In winning the World Series, the Red Sox proved that the right manager and the right locker room atmosphere can turn a bunch of nobodies into champions.

    October 31, 2013

  • EDITORIALS: Be proactive on cyberbullying; Obamacare stumbles

    Parents everywhere must be rejoicing, because a new poll suggests that cyberbullying among students seems to be decreasing. / Every new program is bound to have a few glitches. But what’s happening right now with the nation’s new health insurance program and online signup efforts is disturbing.

    October 29, 2013

  • EDITORIALS: School lunch lessons; D.C. focuses on box scores

    Instead of refusing a now-nutritious National School Lunch Program, schools, parents and students should embrace the healthier standards / A box-score mentality - with too much emphasis on winners, losers, scores and assists - afflicts Washington with little concern for those who buy the tickets.

    October 25, 2013

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.