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Saying goodbye

Change is hard.

I should be accustomed to it by now, after umpteen military moves and 11 homes in the last 25 years, but it doesn't seem to get any easier.

I've enjoyed my time at The McDuffie Mirror, but family obligations are pulling me toward Tennessee and other points north, and it's time for me to say farewell.

I'll miss writing about people and events in McDuffie County, and I'll miss the staff at The Mirror. Jason Smith is a good editor who understands his audience. He's pleasant to work for, and doesn't over-edit his writer's articles, a characteristic every journalist can appreciate. Even during the most hectic days when things failed to fall smoothly into place, Jason maintained his cool. I'll miss watching as he guides The Mirror toward increased readership and a position as an established newspaper that accurately reflects local people and events.

Nobody could ask for a better colleague than Kristopher Wells. Not only is he a talented writer who remembers the background on every article printed the previous year, he is also a dedicated and effective youth minister who leads by example.

I'll miss my conversations with office manager Janet Wells. We compared notes and ideas on every aspect of family life, and it's nice to talk with someone who has values so close to my own.

I'll certainly miss Angela Blair's wit and charm. While she oversaw the advertising department, she also helped make the office a fun place to work, and as a bonus she could be counted on to know how to get in touch with anybody in the entire county.

I was just getting to know the newest member of the staff, Cindy Dent, and I'm sorry we'll not have a chance to get better acquainted. Cindy's friendly demeanor and pleasant personality will add to the quality of The Mirror staff.

And, of course I'll miss Thomson. The town has given me a brief glimpse into my own past, and reminded me of the unique charm of the south.

When my father served in the Air Force, my mother and we children would return to his hometown, a little place in middle Tennessee. We spent summers there or waited out the years while my father served overseas. When he would return, we'd pack up the household and move to yet another base.

But I remember the appeal of his hometown, and was reminded of it immediately upon starting work at The Mirror. For example, on Wednesday afternoons the town would take a nap, just like in Thomson. As the saying goes, the sidewalks would be rolled up and everyone would go home.

In my father's hometown there is a church every half mile, just like Thomson. Almost everyone I knew sang in a choir, belonged to the Lions Club or Kiwanis, and was related to one another in some manner.

I'll miss that.

Web posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005


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