Congratulations are in order. Today The Mirror celebrates our second anniversary.
To satisfy my curiosity of The Mirror's inception, I interviewed my colleagues, Editor Jason Smith and Writer Kristopher Wells, who've been here since day one. Well, Kristopher emphasized that technically he's been here since day one, and Jason was hired the next day.
In the beginning, there were no cameras, computers or phones - just an empty office. The staff used their own personal equipment to write stories and take photos. Story drafts were emailed to Martinez and then Fayetteville, which meant the deadline was early Monday for Thursday's paper - ouch.
Obviously, the staff was up to the challenge. Jason and Kristopher said, "We have always tried to make the paper a mirror of the community, that's why we have that name." The Mirror's focus is on good community news. I don't know which came first, the elaborate camera equipment or the photo pages. It's obvious from the many people who walk through our doors, that everybody loves our photo pages.
I asked Jason and Kristopher their favorite Mirror memories. Even though I asked them separately, I received the same reaction which best can be described as a rascally smile. So, I'll leave those thoughts to your imaginations.
Instead, I'll tell how they used to pass the time waiting for proofs to print. Actually, they passed the time by passing the ball. Many Nerf basketball games were played on a small hoop hanging on the storage cabinet. Kristopher even found the nerf ball and demonstrated trick shots, ricocheting the ball off surrounding office walls and into the hoop. Jason fondly remembered the football games out in the parking lot, also played while waiting for proofs.
I can tell you the paper must have grown, because these days we have no time for ballgames. I've been here only one month, but The Mirror is a paper I am proud to write for. It's not just because of the good quality of the paper and the wonderful people I work with, but also the good folks in the community. Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back, you deserve it.
Most recently, I've become impressed with the local young folks. I've had the pleasure of talking with Lakesha Davis, administrative assistant at the Chamber of Commerce, who is excited to begin college in the fall. Then there's 15-year-old Chris Harrison, a hunting, fishing and dirt bike enthusiast who works at the Wilson farm. Chris' work ethic and character have obviously impressed his employer. Also, I've enjoyed interviewing Carl Jenkins and Chase Wilson, who worked hard to accomplish their Eagle Scout awards.
Lastly, and probably most impressive, are two young men who have called and come into our office looking for work. Diamond Kendrick, 13, and his friend are not intimidated by the lack of opportunities provided to those of such a young age. They show initiative that will take them far in life. I look forward to seeing how their future turns out.