For more than three decades, if some tragedy was unfolding on the streets of Madison County, “ Scoop” Gallimore was there.
House fires and barn blazes? There she was, notebook and camera in hand. Ditto for car crashes, drownings and murder scenes. Scoop wasn’t her real name; that was Bernice. But the local cops all just called her Scoop.
And she was pretty pleased about that.
Bernice Gallimore didn’t become a newspaperwoman until she was in her 50s. She spent her 35-year career at the local paper in London, The Madison Press, retiring at the age of 87 only because she had to. Disease was stealing her eyesight, and she could no longer drive.
She died on (Jan. 17) of cancer, one day shy of her 94th birthday.
There just wasn’t much Gallimore didn’t know about the people of Madison County, said Don Hartley, a former publisher of the paper. His father, C.C. Hartley, hired Gallimore when he was owner and publisher in the early 1970s.
“Hers was an uncanny knowledge of the community,” Hartley said. “And she was gutsy. There was nothing she wouldn’t cover. Yet she had a real regard for human life and always was sensitive to others.”