Nick Simon is the man responsible for helping me improve the printed edition of Hikes Point News.  He encouraged me to use a higher quality, high gloss paper and expand the number of pages.  I trusted him and his advice, even though it made my job more challenging.  Upon his advice I made improvements to the magazine that increased the cost for printing the magazine to over $14,000.00 dollars on one edition.  He said that was his discount price. He kept encouraging me to enlarge the size of HIkes Point News to a regular size magazine.  I agreed to do it not knowing what the additional cost would be.  I believed in Nick and he presented himself to me as an experienced printer who was rational and used common sense to manage his business. 

We talked often and I bumped into him in the grocery and other businesses in Hikes Point frequently.  He was always very kind and helpful.  He really wanted to help me make Hikes Point News a success.  But, his death ended the print edition of Hikes Point News.  After his death, the department, that printed my magazine was shut down and a representative from Nick's company sent me notice that they would not honor the agreement they made with me while Nick was alive.  I worked thousands of hours and drove thousands of miles to sell the advertising needed to pay for the cost of printing and distributing Hikes Point News. I wanted the people of Hikes Point to be proud of the magazine that was promoting their businesses and community.   I thought nothing could stop me from my mission to promote Hikes Point with the Hikes Point News magazine.  But, I was wrong.  The Hikes Point News magazine is on pause for now.  If the discounted price was $14,000. what would another printer charge to print Hikes Point News.  I always had to reach into my pocket to pay for the final cost of each magazine that was printed because I was too generous and gave discounts to small businesses that I knew needed the advertising.  I do not regret this even though I know it is not the way you run a business.  But, Hikes Point News is not a business.  It is a movement designed to help small businesses, families and communiies in our area.  Nick was generous with people in the communities and that probably did not always help the bottom line of his company.  I understand why changes had to be made in his company after his death.  Nick was a good man and tried to spread goodness to everyone he met.

I will never forget what he told me as we sat eating ice cream in Dairy Queen.  It was a time when I felt totally lost.  Life had put me on my knees again and I did not know if I would be able to get up and walk again.  My wife died.  Cancer destroyed her body and her life,  It took away any opportunity for my wife and I to have a real life.  She would get better and then the cancer would come back like a wild dog attacking her like a piece of meat.  During all this agony and pain Nick told me something with the intention of comforting me,  Nick said, "People die John".  Then he got up from the table and said I've got to go but we will talk again soon".  As an ordained minister, with a Masters of Divinity degree from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,  I was trained to comfort people during their time of loss.  I was never taught to give that kind of response to someone who was grieving.  But, in an odd way, those three words, "People die John," helped me.  Eventually, we are forced to choose how we deal with the death of a loved one.  As time passes, we have to accept that the people we love die and we can not do anything to stop it.

I write Life Story books and I interviewed Nick several times about his life.  I talked with him on June 1st and he died on June 10.  The last recorded interviews I conducted with Nick are in digital storage.  These interviews reveal another side to Nick's life.   These videoed interviews also reveal why his family, friends and community respected Nick.  At this moment many people are missing Nick because their lives have been changed by his death.


Writer, John Rodgers