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Sunday was a special day around our house.
It was Mother’s Day, of course, and we did the usual Mother’s Day things – flowers and phone calls with Jenny’s mother and with our daughter and daughter-in-law, who both fall in the mother category.
But it also was a special day for me. It was the second anniversary of my coming to work at the New Albany Gazette.
I usually make a big “to-do” about my work anniversaries, which causes Jenny to roll her eyes and give me one of those looks. She says no one but me cares about work anniversaries. But this year was different. I had barely gotten the “Happy Mother’s Day” out of my mouth Sunday when she said “Happy Anniversary.”
I didn’t even have to fish for it. I thought it was pretty special, but I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.
Anyhow, passing the two-year mark at the Gazette is sort of a milestone. An odd milestone, but a milestone, nonetheless.
Here’s the story: A couple of months after starting work at the Gazette, I was talking with Mike Foster, our production manager and the dean of Gazette employees, about plans to move my family to New Albany.
“You’re going to buy a house? I would be wary of that,” he said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, I’ve been at the Gazette for 25 years and you’re my 12th publisher,” he said. “You do the math.”
So as I head in to my third year, I’m pushing up the average. I think of my time at the Gazette as two parts, “Before Flood” and “After Flood,” because the Gazette was flooded by the Tallahatchie River early last May. So what have we done in the last year, besides cleaning up the building? Several things, actually.
We saw a need for an annual community tourism and marketing book and met it with Explore magazine last June. Its 84 pages of things to see and do, and places to eat and stay has been so popular that the second edition next month will be even larger than the first.
We’ve increased the news space and added more color photographs. And we’ve published special sections, including the recent 20th anniversary tribute to the Union County Heritage Museum. Last month we added two monthly magazines: Relish, about food and recipes; and Spry, about health and fitness. And we started a new online site at newalbanygazette.com.
As we have grown, we have added more equipment, including a mechanical inserter to assure that we can produce the paper and get it to you on time.
But enough about the past. What’s ahead?
Late this month, we will publish our first full-color high-school graduation section. The stapled booklet, with a color photograph of each graduate, is something you’ll want to keep. And this August, we will offer an expanded full-color preview of fall sports in our high schools.
We appreciate your support, through your readership and advertising. We’re the hometown paper, the only one written, edited, designed and printed in Union County. The folks who produce the Gazette are your neighbors.
And they are doing such a good job that they are helping me push up that average. It’s on to year number three as the team leader. Mike’s an awfully nice fellow, but he’s going to be wrong. Publisher No. 12 is hanging in there.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321.