Journalist Jim Williamson celebrated his retirement Wednesday. Family, co-workers and friends joined him at the Texarkana Gazette.
The 68-year-old Williamson started his journalism career in 1966. He was a sports reporter for the Arlington Dailey News. His final 16 years were spent covering Southwest Arkansas for the Texarkana Gazette. His work took him several places in between. He left his biggest mark in Ashdown, Ark., where he still resides.
Williamson moved to Ashdown in 1976, and began working for the Little River News, purchasing the publication in 1978.
He shared several of his memories Wednesday. The list includes tragic plane crashes, and being a coroner’s photographer. There’s a story, including photos of cows invading a house. The effects of being struck by lightning, while flagging traffic at an automobile accident, still accounts for some of his pain. Williamson knows about the Ku Klux Klan, and UFO sightings.
Friends share Williamson tales
Helping share Williamson’s tales were close friends Louis Graves and Steve Mitchell. Both are longtime journalists. His wife, Katrina, and 98-year-old father Homer were also present Wednesday. They had both humorous and serious tales to be heard.
A University of North Texas graduate, Williamson’s first full-time job was at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He won several editing and writing awards during his career from wire services, and state organizations.
It was time to stay home because of health issues, including a fall at the Gazette. He plans to travel more, including visits to see his sister in Denton, Texas. His daughter Heather Stevenson, and granddaughter Hayley sat next to him at the reception.