History never stops delivering beautiful gifts.

“My husband worked for The Daily News years ago,” she said. “He got a job working on the press a the old downtown office. We got married shortly afterward.”

Sitting on the sofa outside the reception area of The Daily News office on Thursday, the first guest arrived a few minutes early.

Her voice is soft, proud. Her eyes sparkle as the memories bubble to the surface of the afternoon. Across her T-shirt were the words “I survived Hurricane Ike. Thank you, Jesus.”

“I guess you could say his getting that job allowed us to get married.”

On Thursday, The Daily News held an open house for the community at our Teichman Road location on Galveston Island. Hundreds of people attended — many simply curious to see what the state’s oldest newspaper looked like from the inside.

“I’ve only seen this on television or movies,” one person said to me.

Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough spoke, reading from an official proclamation from the city. He touched on the history of the city of Galveston and how it and the newspaper have walked through a remarkable journey together. The good, the bad, the ugly. But in the end, both have not only survived, but flourished.

Also in attendance were Dolph Tillotson, former publisher of The Daily News and at the helm of the newspaper during one of the most significant moments in the community’s modern history, Hurricane Ike. His leadership for both the newspaper and community are forever and deeply etched in the history of the newspaper. To this day, many of us still refer to the modern newspaper as “the house Dolph built.”

Galveston Economic Development Partnership President Jeff Sjostrom reminded people of how The Daily News is, in fact, a business. For a business to grow, evolve, and succeed for 175 years is no easy task, he said. His words served as a powerful reminder of how many businesses come and go over time — adding weight to the enduring anniversary everyone was sharing.

Michael A. Smith, editor of The Daily News, took a moment to thank people for simply showing up. His words were humble and sincere. “We never forget we are writing for you,” he said.

The event was casual, relaxed, and informal by design. For what it’s worth, we hoped anyone who cared to attend or stop by could meet any staff member they wished — put a face with the name. And on several occasions, I did simply that — seeking out and introducing staff members that visitors asked to meet.

We are — and I believe to our core — simply normal people doing the best we can to uphold and carry forward a proud tradition of journalism, service to the community, and help local businesses succeed through our publications and services.

And then there is the quiet woman sitting in front office of The Daily News on Thursday afternoon. For her, the newspaper represents something different — the starting point of a beautiful journey.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

President & Publisher of The Galveston County Daily News.

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