Handshakes and smiles

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005

On Monday, I had barely settled in at the office when I received my first welcome and invite to lunch, courtesy of Jim Perdue and the Luverne Rotary Club.

Mr. Alvin Bland, owner of Luverne Printing, autographed a copy of his new book, Mares Eat Oats, Two, as if I were an old friend stopping by to sit a spell.

Hope, the happy lady who greets you at our desk, and I hit it off like we'd known each other for years.

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Numerous others - strangers before, friends after - visited the Journal office on my first day and were as happy to see me as I was to see their smiling faces.

Everyone can relate to starting a new job. It's sort of like the excitement of a kid seeing a freshly wrapped and gigantic Christmas present with his name on it. My gosh, that's got to be something I've always wanted!

Or is it? Maybe instead of the brand new bike, the video game system or the Red Ryder B.B Gun, it's only a lump of coal. Or, as my grandmother always threatened, a 'bag of switches.'

I can tell you right now: I have a lump… in my throat from the thankfulness and appreciation I feel to the citizens of Luverne for making me feel welcome.

"Friendliest City in the South?" An understatement if you ask me.

I've been familiar with Crenshaw County and Luverne for my entire life. Whether in visiting for a football game or making an annual trek to the "World's Largest Peanut Boil" or simply passing through on my way to Troy for school, this area has always intrigued me. I'm looking forward to becoming a part of your community.

As for the newspaper itself, I have Adam Prestridge and Dennis Palmer to thank for delivering me such a well-packaged product and wish Adam well in his new position as president and publisher of Atmore Newspapers, Inc.

I'm sure many of you knew and respected Adam and I will do my best to earn that same respect in the coming months.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to drop me an email or give us a call at 334-335-3541.

As for me, I'm going to try out this new Red Ryder BB Gun.

Kevin Pearcey is editor of The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at

335-3541 or

via email at kevin.pearcey@ luvernejournal.com