Fort Scott journalist celebrates 50 years of storytelling

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Dick Hedges is a long time writer for the Fort Scott Tribune, where he writes a weekly human interest article.
But, this isn’t where his career started.

“They didn’t get anything in the paper for the first football season and that, of course, upset me a little bit, so I went down and tried to be gracious and say ‘Hey, I’d be happy to write this if you guys can’t get it in,'” Hedges explained.

So, “Coach’s Corner” was started in Bolivar, Missouri, by the high school football coach, which was carried on for many years by the high school and collegiate coaches.

In this column, Dick talked about players’ stats and games, but also about what was happening in the crowd.

“We had a veterinarian that fell through the bleachers in Ottawa and broke his leg and they had to cart him out,” said Hedges.

As he traveled over the years and finally settled in Fort Scott, Dick began his current human interest column.
In the column, he shares stories about the town happenings, including a hay bale that fell of a truck on Sixth Street and it was stolen before the farmer came back to pick it up.

Many people love his column, but even the nay-sayers won’t keep Dick from writing.

“Sometimes they don’t like it,” Hedges continued. “Once in a while there’s somebody that says ‘I don’t know what you did that for’ and well, I just did it, so..”

Even though technology has changed over the course of Dick’s career, he just sticks to the basics.

“I still talk into a tape recorder and then I find what I call “Munchkins”–people around me that are willing to help me and because they’ll do it, they can write sometimes better than I can,” said Hedges.

Dick says he’ll keep writing for the foreseeable future and if it works out, he’ll put a book together containing some of his columns.

This week’s article in the Fort Scott Tribune talks about Dick’s vacation in Canada this year where he fell off of a boat and couldn’t get back in because of his inflatable life jacket.

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