For the past 31 years, Charles Brady has been a fixture at Monett Cubs sporting events, and after covering literally thousands of football, basketball and baseball games, The Monett Times sports editor has decided it is time to put down his note pad and retire. Brady's last day at The Times will be this Friday.
"Retiring from the newspaper business was not an easy decision to make," said Brady. "I had pondered retirement for the past couple of years, but after 41 years and four months in the newspaper field, I finally decided it was time to end my career and just take it easy and enjoy life.
"Perhaps I will write a book," Brady added.
Brady first joined the local newspaper staff in the fall of 1979 when he was hired as a sports writer and advertising salesman. Brady's father, Dick Brady, was serving as publisher at the time.
"Ironically, my dad's first position at The Times in 1954 was exactly the same position he offered me," said Brady.
Over the next three decades, Brady worked in the news department and in composing and at one time served as both community and sports editor under the leadership of six different publishers.
"It would be fair to say that I have been involved at one time or another in every aspect of the newspaper business during my career except bookkeeping," Brady said.
Murray Bishoff has worked side by side with Brady since Bishoff was promoted to managing editor in 1991.
"Charles is predictable, which translates into reliable," said Bishoff. "I could always count on him."
Bishoff recalls "soldiering" through many long election nights with Charles as the two prepared election stories for the next morning's newspaper.
"We enjoyed each others' witty repartee and made a good time out of doing our work," Bishoff said.
Brady's career extends beyond his years with The Times. The 1964 Monett High School graduate worked at the Sikeston Daily Standard as a reporter after leaving College of the Ozarks in the fall of 1969. In 1972, Brady was hired as editor of The Pemiscot Journal and The Democrat-Argus in Caruthersville, a position he retained until moving to Monett and joining his father at The Times.
During Brady's stint as editor, the Caruthersville newspapers were voted the top weekly newspapers in the state by the Missouri Press Association. It is an honor that Brady describes as one of the highlights of his journalism career.
Covering over 300 straight Monett Cubs varsity football games is another point of pride for Brady.
"This accomplishment is even more special to me since my father did it for 259 straight games," said Brady. "Between the two of us it comes to 567 consecutive games for well over half a century."
After over 41 years in the newspaper business, Brady has gone from typewriters to computers, from physical paste up of pages to electronic pagination and from hot lead press to offset web.
"It has been quite a ride," said Brady. "I do appreciate my co-workers over the years who are too numerous to mention. I also thank the public for helping make my job interesting and fun and for the many kindnesses extended to me and my wife, Karen, and our family over the years."
And for those who might be wondering how Brady could bear to give up covering his beloved Cubs football team, he won't be. This fall, Brady will return to write Cubs football stories on a freelance basis.
"I wish nothing but the very best of success to the future of The Monett Times," said Brady.
Editor's note: Charles Brady will be missed greatly at The Monett Times. It has been my honor to work with Charles for the past 10 and a half months. He is a consummate professional and a strong supporter of the Monett community. Charles has made a huge impact on this newspaper, and the entire newspaper staff wishes him only the best in his retirement.