Editor’s note: This column first appeared in January 2020 in the Victoria Advocate, where I was editor and publisher. The sentiment expressed is even stronger today, two years later, as we celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary.

We walked around Library Park, holding hands, eating Walrus Ice Cream cones and sharing our thoughts on politics, religion and children.

I knew I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Understandably, she took a little more convincing, but we were hopelessly in love within months of meeting in the winter of 1989. Two years later, we wed as a Colorado blizzard put on a show outside the picture windows.

That was 29 years ago today.

My best friend and I walk at Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Somehow, she’s more beautiful than the day we married. There’s nothing as intoxicating as a new romance, but it pales in comparison with the deep love that flows from three decades of companionship, commitment and care. She has supported me during the best and worst of times and made possible a life far beyond what I ever had dreamt of before her.

She doesn’t like the husband joke I tell that I’d be dead without her, but she sure felt like a lifeline when we met. Such a stable and solid person, she always steered me in the right direction.

This column appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle after our daughter was born in 1994.

She did the same for our two children, giving them love and boundaries in just the right measure, allowing me to be the goofy dad who specialized in giving baths, playing ball and cheering from the stands.

We had some rocky times through the typical stresses of marriage, but she never wavered, never made me doubt her love. She supported my career in ways that weren’t entirely fair to her own.

When we married, I was six years older and farther along in my career, so she willingly moved to new cities when opportunities for me came along. Along the way, she had to reinvent herself from being a talented newspaper reporter and editor to being the talented senior director of marketing and communications she is today at the University of Houston-Victoria. (2022 update: Paula now holds the same title at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. You guessed it: She moved again to support my career decision to come to the Fort Worth Report.) In between, she was general manager/adviser at the University of Northern Colorado’s student newspaper and taught newswriting at two state universities.

Although I’ve spent a career working with incredibly dedicated journalists, no one can match her work ethic. She keeps going and going, regardless of the task before her.

Paula earned her master’s degree a year before our son Paul graduated with his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas in Austin.

When I would collapse onto the couch after a hard day of work, she would go into our study for six long years, working to earn her master’s around her full-time job.

She earned her advanced degree from UHV the year after our daughter and the year before our son graduated with bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas.

I did much clapping and beaming during those three years.

We’re empty-nesters now, which brings its own set of challenges, such as deciding whether to replace worn-out carpet or go on an exotic trip. The carpet is winning this time, but she already has taken me on a magical ride.

Chris Cobler is the CEO and publisher of the Fort Worth Report. He may be reached at chris.cobler@fortworthreport.org.

Every New Year looks bright with Paula by my side.

For What It’s Worth

Editor’s note: Publisher/CEO Chris Cobler is a nostalgic Baby Boomer who likes to name his columns after 1960s protest anthems. When he was editor of the Washburn University Review in 1980 in Topeka, Kan., he called his column “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Now that he’s in Fort Worth, he can’t resist the title of another of his favorite songs, “For What It’s Worth.”

Although the songs are political, Cobler pledges to keep his columns focused on the community and not partisan politics. The mission of the Fort Worth Report is to bring people together around fact-based journalism, making this line in the Buffalo Springfield song especially meaningful: “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”

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Chris CoblerCEO/Publisher

Chris Cobler is the CEO and publisher of the Fort Worth Report. He may be reached at chris.cobler@fortworthreport.org. His journalism philosophy: Our success flows from the old-fashioned values of serving...

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