A little more than 12 months ago, Joyce Beverly made me an offer I couldn't refuse: Go home, fulfill a dream and have a ball doing it.
I did, I have, and I still am.
The McDuffie Mirror has exceeded my expectations and your response to it has been even more impressive. I run into people almost every day who tell me about something they saw in The Mirror that they liked.
But let me turn the tables for a second. The thing I like best about The Mirror is the people. Elwood, Gene and Kristopher have been part of this endeavor since the first day. Without their dedication, talent and patience, The Mirror wouldn't be where it is. And, while I'm at it, Becky and Carol, also deserve a pat on the back for helping get it all started.
Also, Janet and Jim have been amazing additions in recent weeks. And I'm expecting a lot from our latest staff addition -- local newspaper veteran Brenda Silas, who'll be taking over for Carla Direnzo in advertising.
It's been a great 12 months, and I'm excited to see what the next year will hold.
During the past 12 months, we've added some features to the paper that we're proud of: more pictures, more people, more of the things you said you wanted to see in The Mirror.
This week, we're kicking off something else you'll only find here. Faces and Places will appear monthly (for now) in The Mirror and focus on showing you the people and places that make our community great each month. This first edition features local folks enjoying the rodeo, being recognized for their work to raise money for cancer research and out and about in our community.
If you know of something -- or someone -- you'd like to see in Faces and Places, give us a call. We'll do our best to get there.
Also this week, we're breaking out the Angel Tree again, sort of a Christmas in July for some local charity groups. At Christmastime, we granted more than 30 needy kids' Christmas wishes. Now, we're focusing on fulfilling the wish lists of groups like the Boys and Girls Club and gathering school supplies for some local students.
The tree is set up in our lobby and the angels are ready to be adopted. Stop by and pick one up to make some of our charities stronger and/or a child prepared for the start of school.
Then all you have to do is wait for the Second Annual McDuffie Mirror Christmas Angel Tree.
In the meanwhile, the celebration here continues. If you missed our cookout Wednesday, stop by anyway. We'd be glad to show you around the office and find out what you'd like to see in The Mirror in the coming year. After all, this is your newspaper.
A bite of birthday cake would be appropriate now. And for God's sake, make sure it is not low-carb. A certain editor swells up at the mere mention of that phrase. Or maybe it's just genetics.