Long-time Washington County News and Holmes County Times-Advertiser employee John Cameron Everett shut down his production computer and picked up his fishing pole on Tuesday as more than four decades of dedication to two of Florida’s oldest community newspapers came to a close.
Having begun his career in 1975 while still a senior at Holmes County High School, Everett is arguably has been as much a staple to the community as the newspapers themselves.
Over the years, he has served a variety of roles – both officially and u¬nofficially – including that of pressman, printer, photographer, safety officer, maintenance man, and chief coffee maker.
Colleagues says he is well known for his kindness and willingness to lend a hand.
“Cameron is a dedicated, loyal and hardworking guy who was instrumental in our success from 1981 until 2006,” said Maurice Pujol, former owner and publisher of both the News and Times-Advertiser. “He’s not just an accomplished professional; he is also, as someone once described him, a ‘salt of the earth’ kind of person. Plus, he has always been a friend to me and my family. I wish him well in his retirement.”
Nicole Barefield, publisher of the two papers since 2007, says Everett “makes an extra effort to help people, regardless of the request.”
“You can count on Cameron to pitch in on any task,” said Barefield. “He’s NEVER said, ‘that’s not my job.’ And his job has changed a lot these past years — as has ownership of the newspaper that he proudly presided over as a skilled pressman. Still, he has rolled through the punches without complaint and ready to do anything asked of him — always with a smile.”
“Cameron will always be the person you want by your side when the job needs doing, the going gets tough, or you just want to sit and visit for a while,” she added.
Former editor Jan Cleveland Morris agreed.
“Cameron is an awesome, hardworking guy who loves his family,” said Morris. “His steady, calm attitude saw me through many crisis situations when I was at the newspaper. He is like a brother to me, and I will always love him for being a person of exceptional character who stayed quietly in the background. HIs work ethic is remarkable, making him a continual great example for those fortunate enough to know him. We need more Camerons in the world.”
Everett, with family members at his side, was honored on Thursday with a retirement luncheon, during which he was given a poster-sized mock front page filled with “news stories” about him. Everett was also presented with a new rod and reel – to help his retirement plan of spending quality fishing time with his wife, Dottie.
When asked to reflect on his 46 years of service, Everett answered in his usual succinct fashion: “I enjoyed working with everyone and made a lot of friends along the way,” he said. “I just hope I impacted a few lives.”