Truth… Stranger Than Fiction: By Dave Pearce
There will be some big shoes to fill after Friday at the Posey County News…both literally and figuratively. Long-time Posey County News sportswriter Steve Joos has announced that he will be retiring and moving back closer to his elderly mother and his siblings near Peoria, Ill. Steve’s last day in the office will be September 14.
I have had the priviledge of working with Steve both as an employee and as a competitor during his 23 years of sportswriting in Posey County. I can certainly say that I have never seen anyone more commited to Posey County’s sports teams than Steve. To say that Steve has been colorful in his years in Posey County would be an understatement. I can remember a time when he felt better and was younger and always got called on to do his “Joos Shuffle” at most events. Steve would always oblige with a big smile and do his dance to thunderous cheers from the high school students.
I have seen a lot of writers come and go in my time in this industry and I can’t say that I have ever seen anyone who could write so many stories in a single week’s time. I can remember a time when Steve, although never mastering the use of a camera, would write all the Sports in Posey County. That meant keeping in contact with coaches at Mount Vernon, New Harmony, and North Posey. It also meant many nights of practically spending the night at the keyboard trying to make sure each team and athlete got his or her due.
But there is a soft side to Steve that you may or may not know. Steve also is a writer of beautiful poetry. A graduate of prestigious Bradley University in Peoria, Steve can change from sports mode to poet mode and never miss a beat, He can go from the love of sports to the love of a beautiful woman and write with the same degree of affection that can easily be felt through his words.
As age and diabetes have taken a bit of a toll on Steve’s body, he can still write. About three years ago, I attempted to lighten his workload a little by taking a few things off his hands and attempting to write them myself. At first, Steve did not like the idea but eventually, I believe he saw it the way it was intended, just an effort to help him.
To say we are going to replace Steve would be disrespectful. A more accurate statement would be to say that there will be another sports writer who will be writing sports for the Posey County News. I can only trust that the coaches and administration will accept this man with the love and care that they have shown Steve over the years. It really doesn’t matter how much love and respect you showed Steve Joos, I can assure you that he had more love and respect for the community, the coaches, and the athletes than anyone could ask.
A retirement reception is being planned for him during Kunstfest. I would encourage each and every one of you to stop by and have a snack and let Steve know how much you have appreciated his efforts over the years. He has been loyal to Posey County. Many times he could have turned his back on people who did not treat him fairly but in the end, he always took the high road and continued to do the best he could.
Steve, in almost every way possible, is one of a kind. He will be missed but he is fortunate to be able to attain a “normal” life while he is still young enough to enjoy it. While I will miss him tremendously and his work ethic even more, there comes a time in all our lives where we have to look at the situation and do what is best for ourselves and our family. For 23 years, Steve has done what has been best for the readers of the Posey County News. I believe he has earned the right to slow down a little and enjoy his family near his home town.
God bless you, Steve. You’ll be missed but never completely replaced….