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New faces, new books

You may see someone new when you look in The Mirror.

Cindy Dent came on board last week as an advertising representative.

Most of you probably remember Cindy from her book, Yesterday's Rain, and we're thrilled to have her on board.

She's starting at a great time as we've got a big year planned for The Mirror and she's excited to be a part of those plans.

I'm continually amazed by Jeff Sommer. The Executive Chef at 1810 Country Inn & Winery can do amazing things with food.

Last Tuesday, I sat in on the first meeting of The Gourmet Society and watched as he played with chocolate to create tasty, mini-masterpieces ranging from tuxedoed strawberries to a dark chocolate bowl with white chocolate accents.

The main lesson from Tuesday was this: don't be afraid to play with your food -- it's the only way you'll learn.

And, as Jeff said, if you mess it up, you can usually eat all the evidence.

Listening to Ret. Maj. Gen. Perry M. Smith last week during my weekly Rotary meeting was wonderful. It brought back strong memories of the first time I met the military expert. It was several years ago, and I was working on a story for The Augusta Chronicle's World War II series.

I sat in on his presentation at the Augusta museum and sat with him and his wife, Connor, afterward. On that wooden bench just outside the museum store, he reached back more than 50 years to the day he was just six years old and the first wave of Japanese planes flew over his head at Pearl Harbor.

That still ranks as one of my favorite newspaper moments.

Since Christmas, I've read two books: one I got as a Christmas gift, another that countless people told me I had to read.

First was William Bernhardt's Final Round, the story of a series of murders that threatens to disrupt The Masters. As many of you know, I'm a Masters addict and was thrilled to get the book.

And then I read it.

The story wasn't bad, but the details of The Augusta National Golf Club were far off and the use of golf terms was even worse. Reading "water trap" in place of "water hazard" or, my favorite, "pond" was almost more than I could handle.

After Final Round, I dove into John Grisham's The Last Juror -- an after-Christmas gift from my wife. For months, people have been prodding me to read the book because it tells the story of a young man who builds a successful newspaper in a small Mississippi community -- the same community, by the way, that served as the setting for A Time to Kill.

The book is centered around a murder, the ensuing trial and related fall out, but it is, after all, John Grisham.

I wrapped it up late last week after spending a few weeks battling feelings to put it down and make time for other things -- like publishing a community newspaper.



Web posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005











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