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As I have interviewed interns and reporter candidates over the last few weeks, one resounding theme kept coming up when I tell them what I think is the best part of working for a small town paper: the interesting people you meet.
Of course there are the obligatory meetings that must be covered, the birth announcements and wedding news that need to be shared, but by far, the best thing for any reporter is getting out and meeting people who have done things that you only dream or have been places you've only read about.
Over the years, I've done hundreds of people profiles and met people who left lasting impressions: people like an Army sergeant who was on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day and was returning for a reunion 50 years later; the woman who was a literacy volunteer and taught a man to read when he was 70 years old; the little boy born with no arms but who could pitch a baseball as well as his limbed teammates.
Then there was the woman who had a plant that bloomed for one night, one day a year. By morning, the single blossom was dead but in the eight hours of its glory, the bloom was a sight to behold. I was there to tell the story of how she waited each year for that one night and how she marveled at her mystery plant by simply watching it unfold-thrive-then die.
The stories are legion and I know Levy County is filled with similar people with extraordinary stories.
Everyone has a story to tell-even the person who swears they've never done anything worth noting in print.
Lately, in every social situation I've been in, the main topic has been the ever-depressing economy, the rising cost of gasoline or who died recently.
There's been very little "good" news to share and it's past time that people have something uplifting to talk about when they meet for dinner or drinks.
Decades ago, an old country song chimed, "We all need a little good news today."
Never has it been more true.
We need your help in telling the stories of the people who surround you.
If you have a story to share-no matter how trivial you may think-or you know someone whose life has been extraordinary, or there's a natural phenomenon that cannot be explained, let me know.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 493-4796.
Good news. We all need it. Today.