Always tough to say farewell

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 4, 2003

If there is one thing that I have definitely learned about Andalusia, and Covington County in general, it is that news travels extremely fast.

But for those of you who do not know, I am entering my final days at the Star-News, with July 11 being my final day here.

And before you ask, my decision to leave here has nothing to do with any unhappiness with my job here or living in Covington County.

Instead my decision came down to a pair of factors, the first being my desire to get closer to family members in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Atlanta, and my other desire to once again follow my main passion relating to newspaper work, covering sports.

So although I am excited about the challenge that awaits me at my next position, I am, nevertheless, saddened to be leaving a group of people that have come to mean a great deal to me, and that is my co-workers.

Just like every workplace, we've certainly had our share of ups and downs, but the people here made me feel welcome from Day 1, and I feel I have certainly gained many lifelong friendships in the 14 months or so that I've been here.

Of course I've been closest to my friends in the editorial staff, Jeffery Biggs, Mary Reeves and John Wallace, who work painfully hard to produce a quality product on a daily basis, and I appreciate all the help and guidance they've given me.

But there are so many others who I have also become close to, including my classified buddies, as we've had a great deal of fun despite continuous battles over the temperature the thermostat is set on. One of those girls even introduced me to the phrase "Howdy-how."

And there is a certain special buddy of mine named Santanna Casey, and although she has treated me in cruel fashion on many occasions, I dread the thought of having to say goodbye to her. Best wishes Santanna and stay out of trouble!

And while it will be most difficult to leave a set of co-workers who have become a second family to me, it will also be tough to say farewell to many friends I have made outside the confines of our office.

When taking a job at a newspaper as a reporter, establishing relationships is priority number one in trying to do an effective job, and I feel I was able to do that during my time here.

I want to thank all of

you who have made my job much more pleasant with your cooperation and information, and this goes especially to members of the Andalusia Police Department, especially Chief Wilbur Williams Jr., Jeff Holland and Richard Moss of the River Falls and David Anderson of the Red Level Police Departments, the Covington County Drug Task Force and the Sheriff's Department as well.

I also definitely appreciate the relationships I've developed with the Andalusia City Council and Board of Education, the Covington County Commission, Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Gambril and too many others to mention.

For those of you I did or didn't mention, you have all had an impact in my life and hopefully I have at least had a small impact in yours.

During my time here I have tried to be fair, accurate and objective in my coverage, although like everyone I am not perfect and I apologize for any mistakes I have made.

Once again, however, to my co-workers, I want to say thank you for becoming like a family to me, and I love you, will miss you greatly and will keep in touch as often as I can.