By Kay Boothe
Weldon Kerby was a Newspaperman.
At least the Weldon I knew. I’m sure others knew other facets and those will be given voice in the coming days, but I knew the Newspaperman.
That’s Newspaperman with a capital N. There would be no Grapeland Messenger without him. It was a very different publication then. Many say better, but as with all things, even this industry had to evolve.
Weldon guided the community through it’s highs and lows, grieving with it and celebrating as the situation called for, always showing his love for the Grapeland area. He showed me how to do what he did. How to document this community for both prosperity and scrapbooks. He once told me never to forget the scrapbook, that was the most important part of the job.
He covered generations of Sandies in their quest for sporting and academic glory. He was at every 50th anniversary and 100th birthday.
Weldon was never afraid to cover the difficult story, because first and foremost he was a Newspaperman. He would call us to task when we were behaving badly, had a mind that could easily grasp the minutia of any budgetary meeting, be it school or city council, cut through the fluff and tell us what was happening.
Weldon was generous with his time and his talent. I think we owned that paper for at least 6 months before I ventured out and did a completely solo edition.
He was always available for counsel on particularly difficult stories, a laugh on difficult days and a pat on the back when it was over. And the stories he would tell! So full of life and love for his chosen community! So encouraging of all things Grapeland.
Weldon and his wife Sandra kept the community informed and documented for 34 years.
From 1968 through 2002 they were here, watching, recording, and informing us of what we needed and wanted to know. Sacrificing so much for the home they loved.
Who can’t picture Weldon with a camera around his neck covering the latest sporting event, meeting, wreck, or fire. He was there for it all, telling our story, documenting our lives.
He will be missed.
Weldon Kerby’s visitation will be from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Monday, June 26 at First Baptist Church in Grapeland. His funeral service will follow at 2 p.m.
If you have a story about Weldon Kerby that you would like to share please contact us at the Messenger.