It was a summer, I remember. I walked into his office and he said, “I’ve been waiting on you.”
So, the link between myself and Carey Baker was born, never to be broken. I officially worked at a newspaper, The Weekly Post in Rainsville. My first task in this awesome business was picking up breakfast for everyone.
The first two years I worked there, as the sports guy, Plainview played in back-to-back state football championship games. I got spoiled early thinking football season always lasted until early December.
I learned a lot from Carey. The thing that always stuck with me, though, was how to treat people. And also, faces and names of kids sell.
I came to Scottsboro in 2007, not really knowing many people outside a few in the office. When I came, two topics I wanted to write about: courthouse security and Pat Trammell.
One of the greatest compliments I ever received when Judge Jenifer Holt credited me with the courthouse getting secured. While that wasn’t entirely true, there were many involved including Holt herself, it was still nice to hear.
I procrastinated on Trammell for a few years but finally got it accomplished in 2010. My only regret was I never got to meet him or hang out with him.
On Tuesday, a dream came true when Patrick Graham named me the publisher of this newspaper. I follow in the footsteps of some great people who taught me a lot such as Faye McBride, Brad Shurett and Brandon Cox.
I have loved covering this great county and its people. The names are so many, but I always think of Keith Smith, Ken Harding and Barry Capps. No matter what, they always dealt with me, no matter the situation.
A local newspaper is about building relationships. Of course, it’s about being the community’s watchdog. And it’s also about chronicling history for the next generation.
There are so many stories that have been told, and there are so many more to be told. When I walk in my office now, I look around waiting on Brad or Brandon to ask me what I am doing.
There are stories that I still want to do, stories that I will do. There are people that I need to see. My door is always open. Come see me.
Know this: there is no corporation owning your newspaper anymore. The guy who owns it is here every week. The people here are your people, including me.
I know Carey Baker is looking down with pride.
And yes, faces and names are still the deal.