The McDuffie Mirror has always been more to me than just a newspaper. In many ways it was like my child. I was there when it was born. I helped nurture it as it quickly grew into its own. And when the time came, I had to let it move on and take care of itself without me.
I began working for The Mirror in June of 2003, several weeks before the first edition was published.
Its first editor, Jason B. Smith, and I had worked together at Augusta State University’s student newspaper years before.
We were both life-long McDuffie County residents, and had spoken even in college about the desire for our home town to have the newspaper it deserved, one of which it could be proud.
It was an honor to be a part of starting a paper that was everything we had dreamed about providing for McDuffie County. I was a part of the editorial staff of The Mirror for half of its existence. During my time there, I wrote about and took pictures of nearly every entity within the county, from football Friday nights to the halls of government and everywhere in between.
We made sure we served this county with a thoroughness, decency and respect that it had never experienced. And we did it with a well-trained, home-town team.
That is just one of the many reasons I am saddened to see this publication come to an end.
When I left to work at my college alma mater, the editorial side was in the capable hands of Mr. Smith, Lynn Davidson, and Billy Hobbs. Those are just a few of the many great folks with whom I worked. To this day I continue to recall hilarious anecdotes from that first year with my former colleague, Elwood Hamilton.
Strangely enough it was the impending birth of my first child that provided the impetus for me to move on from The Mirror. I knew that the time and dedication it took for me to help in providing the kind of high-quality publication that the county became accustomed to would not afford me the time to be the kind of father I should be.
So when I left the newspaper I had helped grow into adulthood, I never dreamed I would be losing it before its time. Likewise, I never dreamed McDuffie County would be polite to a fault and consequently never fully accept my “child.”
Because of that, The Mirror is the one to pass on, and now I’m stuck with the
reality of mourning not only the loss of what was but also what could have been.
At the same time, I will always cherish the fond memories of what we accomplished together at what I considered the best small-town newspaper in the South.