Lifelong journalist Kaye Northcott retired as editor of Texas Co-op Power magazine May 1, after a decadelong tenure. She answered a few questions before she headed for new adventures.
Q. Why are you retiring?
A. I’m 67, and I figured out that I have been on deadline for 45 years—counting back to college newspaper days. I want to work at my own pace, read till the early hours, do some longer writing and enjoy myself. I intend to travel broadly and spend more time outdoors gardening and observing nature.
Q. Have you liked working at Texas Co-op Power?
A. Absolutely. It’s one of the two best jobs I’ve had. The other was editing The Texas Observer. The Observer had a devoted readership of about 13,000. Texas Co-op Power has a circulation of 1.2 million. But I felt the same sense of family from both publications. And the staff and co-op leadership are wonderful.
Q. Will you continue to write for the magazine?
A. Yes. I already have some assignments and am contemplating more.
Q. How much did you know about electric cooperatives before you came to work here?
A. I had a general appreciation of co-ops, but I had no idea they were such a widespread business model. As long as people are willing to take responsibility to improve their lives and their communities, co-ops should flourish. And now I am a zealous advocate for them.
Q. What is your impression about Texas Co-op Power readers?
A. Salt of the earth. We get a lot of personal feedback. I get photos of grandchildren, odd insects, hay crops, gardens, pets, ancestors, etc. Most readers who write to us offer personal observations. Some of the most interesting e-mails and letters are from people who have a connection to one of our stories. You would be amazed at how many people wrote to us about the Fort Worth Masonic Home and the Mighty Mites football team and Sally Rand, for example.
Freelancers say they have more fun writing for this magazine than for other publications because they hear from the readers. The girl who sat behind you in the fourth grade writes, and so does your first boyfriend. At last count, Juddi Morris, who recently did a piece on pimento cheese, had received 14 e-mails and letters from readers wanting to tell her about their own recipes.
Have a suggestion for a future Co-op People? E-mail Charles Boisseau at firstname.lastname@example.org.