Opinion: A see you later to the nicest people
By: Shayla Terry
When I first came to Luverne it was the beginning of November 2015. I had signed on to do a profile story on the McGhee family. It was my final project for my Reporting class at Troy University. Through my class work, I met Mona Moore. I thought she was magical the way she handled all the things that were thrown her way, and immediately offered my help. I had always known about the city, being from neighboring Pike County, but I had never spent any real time here.
When I finally made the official trip over to interview in January 2016, I met more magical beings by the name of Andy Brown and Beth Hyatt. Hyatt had officially taken over the Luverne Journal. I began interning in May, and you all began to touch my heart in a forever type of way. In my early assignments of community meetings I met the first set of friendly people.
I remember my first story with Benjie Sanders and Charlie Sankey and how they did everything to give me solid information. Some of the best stories I have written in my short career has their names attached. Thank you. That summer, I know I met at least 200. People who greeted me as though they had known me for years, just by reading my stories. As I worked to become a better writer, this community made me a better person. You all taught me the true importance of empathy, silence and friendship. As a part-time reporter, I finally got the chance to meet the students. The remarkable young people of Crenshaw County are groomed in kindness, just as their parents.
As I transitioned from being a part-time writer to a full-time editor, I learn that the Luverne Journal is much more than just a few stories. It exemplifies every facet of your lives. We ride with y’all on the roller coaster of life. There are ups and downs, but the love is always the same. From you all I have learned that friendly comes in many shapes, sizes and actions. You don’t always have to speak to show yourself friendly, you can do it with kind gestures.
As I embark on my new phase of life, I entrust that the junior writers will give you all the football fever your hearts can handle. My junior writers Railey, Grace and Elizabeth have meant the world to my soul and my mind. To watch their writing and photography grow in such a short time has been remarkable. I believe the Luverne Journal with always find it’s way to greatness. The standard has been set long ago, and the successors have been lucky to work under it.
I have decided that I would like to teach journalism, so I am headed back to college to obtain my master’s degree. While I am doing so, I will live in Tampa, Florida, and work as a student finance planner at a medical college. I’m a country girl by birth, but I have always wanted to live a city life. I am grateful to be afforded the opportunity to do my heart’s desire.
I’d hate to leave just when Cuz Johnson said he was taking a liking to me. Gosh! Yet, as I say over and over again in my opinion pieces, I am always on a quest for learning. I’ve found my new adventure.
I won’t say goodbye, because we’re family and I’m sure you all will see me again. My publisher has invited me to continue writing editorials, so I will try to shoot one back home every now and then. You are the people who have shaped my every day for almost two years. Please reach out to me with the latest, happiest moments in your lives at email@example.com. Though I am a Brundidge native, Crenshaw will always be my little piece of home. Oh, and you’ll soon find out that our managing editor Jonathan Bryant is magical too.