‘I Have Never Seen Your Equal’

By Debra Christiansen

There’s a moment in the movie “The Princess Bride” when, prior to a duel between Inigo and the Man in Black, Inigo hands his sword to the Man in Black for him to inspect. The Man in Black looks the sword over and says, “I’ve never seen its equal.”

As an occasional contributor to the South County News over the years, when challenged by Sue to produce copy about Schoolcraft goings on for the paper, there was always great trepidation on my part when clicking “send” to email my paltry copy to her.

Sue’s blood ran news. In her words, “My parents started in the newspaper business in 1935. I was born into it in 1938 so you can see I had no choice but become a journalist.” Her wit and mind were razor sharp, and her standards were high. I could probably turn out a fairly good article for most occasions, but for Sue, I had to produce my best AND expect the article to come back for re-editing. “Write in the third person!” she would say. “Use quotes!” she would always add. I had a dream that one day I would submit copy and have Sue’s only response be, “CUT! PRINT!” Never happened. There was always a question to be answered, sentences to be tightened, and more quotes needed. I have never seen her equal.

There’s a moment in the movie “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” (1972) (which incidentally is the spoiler for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) when at the end of his life, Judge Roy Bean pours his heart out to his idol, Lily Langtry, with the line, “It has been an honor to adore you.”

Sue fought tooth and nail to stay out of the newspaper biz. She said, “Tried everything not to run a newspaper until the community came to me in 2012 and asked if I would get something together. I was 74 at the time and said, ‘Well, I will show you how it’s done in the first three issues and then turn it over to a paid person to run.’”

Never happened. Sue ran a schedule for the paper with a voracity and veracity that would have crippled the lesser, and always with the heart that knew and cared for everyone. I consider myself lucky to have been able to stand in her light and declare myself (Judge Roy Bean to Lily Langtry). And to Sue, (and you can quote me on this) “I have never seen your equal” and “It has been an honor to adore you.”

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