A Double Celebration for Tennessee Daily

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By: Dexter Hill

The day selected to celebrate the anniversary of The Daily Times of Maryville, Tenn., was doubly special: It marked the newspaper’s 125th year in existence and longtime Editor Dean Stone’s birthday.

Stone, who has worked at the Times for 61 years, was recognized for his achievements at the paper and in his community during a public event that drew a crowd of about 2,000. The parking lot across the street from the newspaper echoed with the sounds of live bands, speeches, and the reading of letters from the governor, legislators, and President Bush. In addition, three area mayors awarded Stone the first-ever Blount County Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the county.

Addressing the gathered crowd of well-wishers, Stone said, “Those of us who sometimes provide leadership realize that we’re just getting credit for what somebody else does. So we appreciate working with you.”

The 84-year-old editor consistently works nights at the paper, contributing six editorials each week and overseeing the rest of the editorial section’s content. He began working the late shift back when the Times was an afternoon paper. It moved to mornings in the early 1990s.

“People joke that [Stone] will call them at 11:30 at night,” Executive Editor Larry Aldridge tells E&P. “He says, ‘I’m up, so you should be up, too.'”

In addition to editorials, Stone also writes history. His fourth volume of Snapshots of Blount County History, featuring his collection of hundreds of photographs, hit bookshelves in October. He is already considering writing a fifth volume.

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