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
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl

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.