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Ridin' the pine

I have spent the past few weeks lamenting the loss of a good friend and colleague. No, no one in the Mirror family has passed away, but unfortunately it feels that way. I'm going to miss my partner in crime, Elwood Hamilton.

The first time I met Elwood, I thought he looked like a skinny little dork. Then I looked in the mirror. I have no room to talk. But we became friends and found out that we needed to work together to get the job done, and I learned quickly that he had my back.

By contrast, I've known my editor Jason Smith for many years. He was the editor of the Augusta State University student newspaper, The Bell Ringer, when I started covering sports for them. So at least there was one familiar face in the new offi ce a year ago.

From the beginning with Elwood there was no question he was the kind of guy on which you could count. And there's no question his writing and reporting were among the best that this area has ever seen. I think of that old saying: "imitation is the sincerest form of fl attery."

Reading Elwood's writing will always bring that phrase to mind because I found myself writing in a similar style to his on occasion. I hope he learned as much from me as I learned from him.

Not to toot my own horn, but it was the tag team of "Wood" and "K-Wells" that uniquely covered McDuffie County for this past year.

And I'm proud of what he accomplished. I was just along for the ride.

In a county that places a high value on hometown products, he moved here and fi t in just like he had lived in McDuffie County all of his life. He didn't have the benefi t of growing up here like Jason and me. I would like to thank everyone for embracing Elwood as this county's own.

I'm glad I got to know him and work beside him for as long as I did. I know his new situation will be good for him and his wife. I wish them well.

Now comes the fun part. I'll be alone in the "newsroom" for a short time while we look to fi ll Elwood's position (because no one could ever replace him). Soon, I'll have to begin working with someone new and get used to another partner.

Things will keep rolling here at the Mirror; don't worry about that.

Those of us left will work just as hard to put out the high quality stories and pictures this county has come to love. Until we fi nd someone to sit at Elwood's desk, keep us in your prayers.

Whoever comes behind him will have some pretty big shoes to fill.

Web posted on Sunday, July 25, 2004

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