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Andalusia: The home I never thought would be home

In high school, you could often hear me say, “I am leaving this town and never coming back.”

As I drove my 2003 silver Dodge Neon, the Silver Stallion, around the Square, walkers and joggers could often hear “The Great Escape,” by Boys Like Girls or “Come One, Come All,” by All Time Low blaring from the speakers. I would scream the lyrics, “Throw it away, Forget yesterday, We’ll make the great escape,” or “‘Cause there’s a mile gone for every minute passed, When I’m stuck in this town,” as I envisioned myself driving away and never looking back at Andalusia.

The day after graduation in May 2013, I wasted no time and moved straight to Panama City to play soccer. Little did I know, I would be right back in this little town.

It seems like every time I would try and make my great escape, Andalusia would pull me back in, but who’s to say that is such a bad thing?

A couple of weeks ago, I met with a high school friend and we were talking about the past, present and future. To be honest, I was afraid to talk with him, because in a way, I was ashamed that I was living back in my hometown. As the conversation went on, it didn’t even get brought up. We were too busy talking about timeless memories and the good things going on in our lives at the moment.

On the drive home, I drove around the square and had a moment of realization that maybe Andalusia isn’t so bad after all.

I looked out at the new pub, The “B,” being built. Carroll Meat Company is making renovations daily to open. The city is trying to revitalize the downtown district for people like me; young adults who may want to come back to this little town.

In my opinion, they are doing a great job at it. I never thought that I would come back to Andalusia, but why not? Why not come to a place that I know, feel safe in and a city that is trying to do all that it can to make its community the best?

There was always this preconceived notion that Andalusia is used as a stepping-stone for something better, or that Andalusia is a place to prepare you for a better place. Why? Why can’t we make Andalusia a place where college graduates want to come to and not a place where kids are itching to getaway?

Now, as managing editor of the Andalusia Star-News, I have the same mindset. I want to make the Star-News the best it has ever been, but I can only do that with the help of the community.

If you see something that you want us to cover, then send it to us. If you don’t like our content, let me know. The paper should be full of content that is helpful, inspiring and creative. We want to make sure we include everything that you want. So, if you want it in the paper then send it. We can’t read your minds. If it is important to you, then it is important to the community.

With all of that being said, I am excited to be the managing editor of the Andalusia Star-News and I hope to provide all of you with content that makes you proud to call the Andalusia Star-News your community paper.