Twenty-six years ago Tuesday, my world fell apart.
That's the day I stopped being an only child.
I'm not sure I'll ever forgive my parents for depriving me of a life of being the spoiled only child. Being the spoiled older brother just isn't the same.
My sister, Megan, always has been special. She was born alongside Interstate 20 - my father delivered her and then finished the drive to Augusta.
As she grew up, she took ballet and piano lessons. I don't remember whether she could dance, and I don't know whether she could play the piano - she was always too shy to play at home.
Today, she's a teacher at Thomson Elementary School - right across the street from the house we grew up in and the place my parents still call home.
Megan has had a rough couple of months - her dog died at Christmas, our grandfather passed away in January. And now she's getting old.
Here's hoping life turns around at her birthday, the frowns become smiles, the tears disappear and happiness fills her plate. After all, since metabolism slows with age, she probably doesn't need a full plateof cake anyway.
* * *
Last week, there was another milestone of sorts to celebrate.
Pam Tucker marked her 25th year in emergency management quietly - until Columbia County Commissioner Mark Devoti stepped in.
Under the guise of "having harsh words" for her during Tuesday's commission meeting, Devoti presented Tucker with a small gift. (By the way, the look of horror on Tucker's face when she heard "harsh words" was priceless.)
"We certainly appreciate your service here," he said, pulling a tissue out of his coat pocket for the bleary-eyed Tucker. "We hope you are with us for 25 years more."
I couldn't agree more.
* * *
As many of you have probably noticed, there's been a little something extra in your News-Times in the past few months: McDuffie County news.
It's no accident and it certainly isn't part of some grand plan to strip away our award-winning coverage of Columbia County.
Actually, we've added a new writer, Elwood Hamilton, who lives in Thomson. Elwood's sole responsibility is covering Thomson - that way, we're not taking away from our Columbia County staff's time.
Now it is time to take the next step. Starting today, and every subsequent Sunday, McDuffie County subscribers to The Augusta Chronicle will get a copy of The News-Times inside. (There will also be copies of The News-Times in Sunday editions of The Chronicle in newspaper racks throughout the county and in News-Times racks at Chalker's and Wally's.)
I'm thrilled to officially be back in my hometown, the town that started my newspaper career. I grew up loving Thomson and always been proud of the community that shaped the person I've become.
Now, I hope we can make that community as proud of this newspaper as our Columbia County community is.
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