Sometimes, when we make mistakes, it can be refreshing when readers call asking about them. That’s been the case with Neil Sperry’s Gardener’s Mailbag column that we’ve mistakenly omitted the past two weeks.

You see, we have had a retirement and subsequent staff change so Sperry’s column was mistakenly omitted in the past two weeks, so several of you have called and emailed to ask about it.

No, we are not discontinuing our publication of that column. It will be back next week.

It’s been great to know that readers value his column. We believe that we know what our readers are looking for in the Herald Democrat, based on our knowledge of the community and the feedback we do receive but sometimes that is few and far between.

Getting more feedback is why we’re doing the listening tour that kicked off Thursday in Denison. It was encouraging to talk to so many people from diverse points of view who are engaged in their community. We also heard some concerns and ideas that we’ll be exploring more in the coming weeks and that I’ll be writing more about in a coming edition.

The stop in Denison was only our first. We’ll be in Sherman next so look for that announcement soon.

We want your feedback on what we’re covering and what we may be missing. We need you to send us tips and interesting human interest topics we might be able to cover.

We also need feedback on how we’re doing.

We want you to feel comfortable talking with us and engaged in discussions about the things we report, whether in letters on the opinion page or comments on Facebook.

We’re part of this community, too. We live next door to you. Shop at the same stores. Eat at the same restaurants. Attend the same churches. And celebrate and mourn together.

So look for the next listening tour announcement — and for Sperry to be back in Thursday’s paper — but in the meantime, you can always reach out to me at or by calling 903-893-8181, extension 1136.

Happy birthday to Barbara Smith of Bells; Nancy Russell and Craig Ewing, both of Sherman.

Happy Anniversary to Ron and Syd Brown of Pottsboro, 50 years.