Hughes marks 40 years at T-G

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When she started as what was then The Press Gazette on July 1, 1985, Sharon Hughes said she had no idea that 40 years later she’d still be working at what today is The Times-Gazette.

She was working for Robertshaw Controls, had just enrolled at Southern State Community College, and one morning her late husband, Earl Hughes, was having breakfast at Magee’s restaurant in Hillsboro when then-Press Gazette Publisher Jim Hardin approached him.

“Jim happened to be in there and Jim asked Earl if if I wanted a job,” Sharon Hughes said. “He said, ‘I would love for Sharon to come talk to me.’ That was all it took and 40 years later I am still here. I remember the first day I started thinking, ’I’m not sure about this. I don’t know anything about newspapers.’ Never did I think 40 years later I would still be at the paper, but I still love what I do and I am looking forward to my 50th year.”

For about 25 years Hughes was a sales representative and in 2010 she was promoted to sales manager, a position she still holds today.

Hughes is a 1969 graduate of Hillsboro High School. Her parents were Wayne and Phyllis (Smith) Hatfield, and she is a direct descendant of the Hatfields of the Hatfields and McCoys fame.

After graduating from high school her plans were to go to college and work somewhere in the social services field. But although she attended Southern State for a while, the newspaper opportunity came up instead.

“I think the most memorable memory is going out for my first assignment to take a picture of something our honorable judge Rocky Coss wanted,” Hughes said. “I don’t remember what the photo was for, but I took the photo without film in the camera. Thank goodness for phone cameras now. Rocky never let me live it down and to top it off Rocky and I graduated together so it was embarrassing. We both get a laugh now.

“I also write a weekly column for The Times-Gazette called In the Kitchen with Sharon, and I love to do it. Send me your favorite recipes and I will put you in my column. I have met so many great people in Highland County. This is a great place to work and to live.”

Sharon has a son, Ronnie Wayne Hughes; a grandson, Colby; and special nieces, Brandy Roades, Taylor Hemming and Abby Allen.

“No, I don’t have any plans on retiring,” Sharon said. “I still love what I do. If you need anything, please call me at 937-393-3456.”

What today is The Times-Gazette originated in 1818 and has operated under different names since. In 1996, The Press Gazette merged with the Greenfield Daily Times, Leesburg Citizen and Lynchburg News to become what is now The Times-Gazette.

”By the way, I remember getting a fax machine and getting digital cameras so we didn’t have to spend all our time in the dark room developing film,” Hughes said. “It’s like magic, getting photos so quickly. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this big family.”

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

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