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Phillips is a true Southern gentleman

Growing up in the North, I had a stereotype in my head of what a Southern gentleman looked like.

He was old with a white beard and wore a seersucker suit. He had a deep Southern drawl and sipped on sweet tea while speaking in colloquialisms.

However, after moving to Oxford, I learned what a true Southern gentleman looks like and he just happens to look exactly like Tim Phillips.

Tim may not wear a seersucker suit, and probably prefers sipping on a cold beer, but he is no doubt a gentleman, and one of the kindest men I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

His smile is genuine and when he talks to you, you know he’s listening. I know this, because I’ve used his shoulder more than once to cry and/or vent on.

From the first day I started working here, Tim has shown me and my family love, respect and concern. Family comes first to Tim and he shares that sentiment with everyone who works for him. If I needed the morning off to go to my granddaughter’s school play, he gave me his blessing.

I’ve seen some take advantage of his kindness, but it never made him stop being generous to his second family — those of us at The EAGLE.

Where Tim got his good nature was of no surprise to me after I met his father, the late Jesse Phillips and mother, Jeanette, also two very kind, sincere and honest folks.

I’ve watched Tim treat everyone at The EAGLE with the utmost respect — whether it was the editor or a carrier.

One of things I will miss most about Tim leaving The EAGLE is hearing his playful banter with the pressroom employees. I’ll miss the aura that surrounds him that made The EAGLE a welcoming and wonderful place to work. I’ll miss hearing, “Good mornin’ Miss Alyssa.”

But for all my selfish reasons for wanting him to stay, I also know it’s time for him to spread his wings and do what makes him happy. He grew up in the newspaper business and now wants to try something different.

How brave is he to change direction at this point in his life. I admire him for all he did while publisher of The EAGLE and for all the wonderful things I know he will do once he walks out of The EAGLE’s doors and steps into his new life.

Alyssa Schnugg is city editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com.