We have just begun the second month of the year and already I have lost four friends.
Chad Ferguson, coowner and co-publisher of the Columbus Banner Press newspaper left our physical world on Monday after a brief bout with cancer. My early memory of Chad and his wife Bebo was at a South Texas Press Association convention. I remember thinking who are these people? They are full of life, fun and loud! Well, Chad was loud.
Many of us compared him to a younger version of the Pleasanton Express’ own Wild Bill Wilkerson. Both never met a stranger, both loved STPA with all their heart, both loved sports and more importantly – both loved their family fiercely.
There are many people who come along in your life that touch you in a way that you will never forget. Chad was one of them. He was famous for his “happy dance” to get a laugh out of us all.
We may have only seen each other 4-6 times a year, but when we did, he was certain to entertain us all with the stories he would tell.
And while Chad was the life of the party when he entered a room, he was an honored journalist who covered Colorado, Austin and Fayette counties’ area news. He wrote about more high school teams than you can count on two hands as well as the news generated from the area, too.
With Bebo at his side running the office and laying out the weekly editions, they were a newspaper couple that not only worked hard, but also found time to enjoy life.
He was an integral part of STPA, Texas Gulf Coast Press Association and Texas Press Association. He served in just about every capacity, including president, in each organization – tasks that his wife Bebo has done as well.
Their daughter, London, also worked at the paper and their son, Chris, and his family have helped out over the years as well.
I visited Chad at the hospital in Katy in November. When I was leaving, I told him to “please get healthy” and he replied “I’m trying, Sue, I’m trying!” He wasn’t ready to leave this world. We weren’t ready, either.
The way I see it, this is a sad and hard loss. Not only as a friend, but as a newspaper man. I hope he is doing a “happy dance” with our newspaper friends who have left us over the years.
SUE BROWN is a columnist for the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org