Letter to the Editor

Rust successes have been built on hard work

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

To the editor:

Congratulations to everyone at Rust Communications for your most recent newspaper acquisitions in Iowa and Indiana.

That brings your total publications to more than 50, I think.

What a success story. I remember when Gary Rust purchased his first newspaper more than 30 years ago -- Cape Girardeau's weekly Bulletin -- and began his long journey to where he is now. I was proud to be a member of his tiny staff for a few years in the early 1970s, but no matter how hard we worked, Gary always worked harder and longer hours. I used to think the man never slept. Gary was an inspiration to the "work hard, get ahead" ethic.

Lest anyone think the folks at Rust Communications have had an easy road to travel, I relate this story: In December I was experiencing delivery problems with my subscription to the Southeast Missourian. There was a communication breakdown that was partly my fault and other delays caused by weather and mechanical problems. Frustrated, I sent a complaint e-mail directly to Rust Communications chief operating officer Wally Lage. The next morning at about 8 a.m. I heard crunching footsteps in the snow outside my front door. I went down to investigate and found my morning newspaper at the front door and a well-dressed man walking away in the snow. My newspaper had just been hand-delivered by the COO of one of the largest newspaper chains in the nation. What more is there to say?

STEVE ROBERTSON

Cape Girardeau