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Goodbyes are never easy

It's never easy to say goodbye.

It doesn't matter if you've been somewhere for seven months or several years.

Either way, goodbyes are tough.

Last week, this city boy was promoted to president and publisher of Atmore Newspapers, Inc., publisher of The Atmore Advance and Extra. When the opportunity arose, it was a tougher decision than I anticipated.

Having worked in the newspaper business for just over eight years now, being a publisher has always been a dream of mine. Working my way up the ladder from a stringer to reporter and later sports editor and managing editor, it was obvious there weren't too many rungs left in the ladder.

Then the long-awaited promotion was put on the table, but what was thought to be an easy answer turned out to be harder than anticipated.

Since taking over the reigns at The Luverne Journal in August 2004, I have learned a lot from the residents and businesspeople throughout Crenshaw County. I'm a firm believer that God has a planned path for everyone and I'm certain he planned on me finding my way to Luverne.

It's hard to meet a stranger in Crenshaw County. Whether you've known them for years or just met them, they treat you like one of their own. No matter what race, religion or political stance you take, they're your friends.

When my wife Jennifer and I decided that Atmore was the town where we wanted to build our careers and family, we decided to say a little prayer. We asked God to give us a sign assuring us that this was the right move for us.

Honestly, it was thought that the sign would never come, until yesterday.

Preparing the Journal for my final time as editor, I realized that I had forgotten to interview a senior for the paper's new section, Senior Living. In a panic, I called someone who everyone knows and considers a friend, Ellen Solomon.

As the interview progressed, Miss Solomon was asked if she had worked after graduating from school. Her answer nearly knocked me out of my chair. She said she worked as a teacher in Atmore for several years and later in Troy.

That was our sign.

Later that day, Miss Solomon gave me a copy of the book she wrote, The Planted Seed, which is about her journey through life. The book includes a lot about the Town of Atmore, the people she met and her experiences there.

The plan is to use Miss Solomon's book to help my wife and me get accustomed to our new hometown and neighbors.

Although I'll miss the friendships I've built while serving Crenshaw County, I'm positive the right decision was made.

God's path for me I'm sure includes Atmore, but I'm glad He decided to make it pass through Luverne too.

Adam Prestridge is editor of The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at

335-3541 or

via email at adam.prestridge@ luvernejournal.com