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Adios Andalusia

As the famous English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer once said, “There is an end to everything, to good things as well.”

For the past four years, I have been writing about the Covington County community. I’ve covered events, crime, sports, commission meetings, boards of education and got a peek into the lives of each type of person living here.

Though this will be the last thing that I write for the Covington County community, I will not forget the things that I learned here.

I started at the Star-News as a part-time reporter with the hopes to only write, but I found so much more.

I would like to say that I am a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none. So, the newspaper world was a perfect fit. I could learn about new things and pour myself into articles and I take pride in knowing that people from all over Covington County could read my work. Community newspapers are important not only for the person writing the articles but for the readers. We not only provide you with the news of what is going on, but we are able to reach your hearts and your minds.

I think back to an article I did two months ago on the passing of Shelia Smith. It was a tragedy, no doubt, but when I interviewed her peers at Straughn Elementary School, I got to feel exactly how tragic it was. Then my job was to translate that onto paper for you. My goal was for the readers to feel exactly as I felt when those teachers poured their hearts out to me about Shelia.

That is why community newspapers are important. So people around the community can feel and sympathize with the other people in the community about an event or person. Community newspapers unite us with emotion, in my opinion.

There are a couple of people that I would like to thank for my time at the Star-News.

First off, former publisher Michele Gerlach, thank you for taking a chance on me. You saw something in me that I didn’t think was there and I thank you for giving me the opportunity in this business.

Former publisher Kendra Majors, thank you for pushing me to be a better journalist every day. You taught me things about the business that I will keep forever.

To the community, thank you for allowing me to express your thoughts and ideas for the entire county to read. I cherished every thought, feeling and inspiration you had as my own.

For those that feel like I did not do good enough or didn’t cover enough, I truly apologize. For the sports teams that I didn’t get to cover, I truly apologize.

Do not think that my lack of coverage was a lack of interest because that was not the case.

I look forward to the things that Mayor Earl Johnson, the Covington County Commission, Opp Mayor Becky Bracke and Florala Mayor Terry Holley all have planned to keep Covington County on the up and up.

As I leave to North Carolina, I leave all of you with this, another quote from Chaucer, “Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgment difficult.”

– Christopher Smith

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