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Some things change, but others...

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Column by Jim Clark

By Jim Clark

Let's see. Where were we?

It was late in 2006 when I wrote a column saying I was leaving to become the editor in Williston, within the same company.

Prophetically, the last sentence of that column read, "You won't get rid of me that easily." I was referring to the fact that my column would still appear occasionally, not realizing that someday I would be sitting here in the same office doing it again.

So my first couple of days I drove around to see what had changed.

First, I have to find someplace to stay, so I remembered that some new condos had been approved near Strickland Park. Since I'm a big youth sports fan, that would be ideal, so I drove up to take a look.

Oops. Nothing there but a vacant lot.

So then I thought I would cross the highway and see what the new hospital looked like.

Oops, Nothing there but a sign.

So I headed back to the office, where we have a memo on the wall saying that the intersection of Park and U.S. 19 would be closed for two weeks starting March 19 (this was on May 7).

Oops. Still closed that morning, but they must have heard I was coming because they opened it that afternoon.

OK, so not too much has changed. Some of the businesses are gone, some, particularly restaurants, have changed names, but basically the city seems to have survived nicely without me being here for the past 2 1/2 years.

I know some good people have left us. With the Watermelon Festival coming up, it won't be the same without Barbara Lunsford coming in to the office to talk to me about it. The memory of Claude Lewis still lingers in the newsroom here.

My thoughts and priorities haven't changed. We just had a story about the continuing plans for the hospital, and that's something I'll follow closely. We need a hospital in this area, and hopefully it will be built in the near future.

I've always argued for better roads and the movement of traffic. Chiefland isn't bad with traffic jams, although the decades-old practice of building schools on the main roads now comes back to haunt people as school zones slow traffic to a crawl during the busiest times of the day.

You'll find that I'm a "can't do the time, don't do the crime" type of guy. If you don't want your name in the paper for an arrest, or a DUI, don't commit the offense. No amount of appealing is going to get your name withheld.

Personally, things haven't changed much. I still have my wife (44 years), four children, and we're now up to 10 grandchildren. The oldest one goes to high school next year. Where did the time go?

And, of course, I'm still a Mets fan, despite the meltdowns the past two years. As I write this, they've won eight out of the last nine.

Remember, if you have an idea for a column, please send it along. I like to vary between lighthearted, informative, and tough. So send the ideas to the e-mail address at the end of the column.

Got to get going. Deadlines are approaching.

Some things never change.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Chiefland Citizen. He can be reached at editor@chieflandcitizen.com or 493-4796.