Letter to Mr. Mahone


Good Day, Mr. Mahone, and welcome to Charlotte and the Charlotte Observer, your new homes, so to speak. I enjoyed getting to “meet” you through your column in the June 3rd paper.

I enjoyed hearing your voice and learning of your core beliefs, but regret that Mr. Sheib was that type of man and teacher. However, he is past for you, but I fear his legacy lives on.

We share a bit, Mr. Mahone, in that we both are new to Charlotte. As far as I gather, you have never lived in this area, and my wife and I just moved to Mooresville last August. However, I did grow up in Kannapolis during the 1950’s and half of the 1960’s when I left for college and have just returned. I mention this because I think it gives us both a fresh perspective to the Observer.

Before we returned here, I told my wife (who is not from here) more than once what a great newspaper the Observer was. I told her of growing up and knowing that each week I could read Kays Gary, Jim Bishop, Sydney Harris, and other syndicated and local writers. Even during college, the Observer was relied on along with the News and Observer. Alas, my wife and I have been disappointed in the quality of the Observer.

I know that money must be made, and that the internet is an issue of competition. However, many people still enjoy holding a newspaper in hand to read and get local, national, and other news. In the Shenandoah Valley, where we lived for ten years, The Northern Va. Daily is a successful newspaper in the small town of Strasburg.

Frankly, I find the Observer to be provincial. It seems to me that the Observer is too full of paid obituaries, too much Panther stuff, too many comics, and not enough news of the U.S. and world. And, why can’t a syndicated columnist such as Leonard Pitts, George Will, or Kathleen Parker be printed each day?

I wish you all success, Mr. Mahone, in making the Observer a first-rate newspaper that reflects its city.

Blessings, Roger Barbee

581 Isle of Pines Rd.


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