Shelby County will always be our home

&8220;Seize the opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind.&8221;

Bulgarian Proverb

The memory of that spring day some six years ago is as sharp as yesterday. I sat, knees trembling, in the lobby of the Shelby County Reporter, waiting to be interviewed for a summer internship with the newspaper.

I was hardly aware of where that opportunity would lead me over the following three months &8212; from the high-security visit of President George W. Bush at Oak Mountain State Park to a private garden holding oversized cabbages in south Shelby County.

The time I spent satisfying that one-credit hour requirement for journalism school ultimately led me back to the newspaper, laying the foundation for some of the most fulfilling years of my life.

A recurring theme for my time in Shelby County has been growth.

Professionally, it was cultivated by an all-star team of community minded newspaper folks, including one of the most outstanding people I&8217;ve ever been around in Tim Prince.

Personally, it was marked by the creation of our family with my marriage to Kristin and then its expansion with the birth of our three beautiful boys, Sam, Gus and Max.

Externally, it has been highlighted by a county overflowing with potential, much of it realized through the hard work of dedicated community leaders.

The one constant in all three of these areas is simple to identify &8212; good folks. And there are plenty of them in Shelby County.

As you read this column, I sit, knees trembling, in a Greenville office, thrilled at the prospects of a new and exciting opportunity.

Today, I begin service as publisher of The Greenville Advocate, The Luverne Journal, The Butler County News, The Lowndes Signal and president of Greenville Newspapers LLC.

While we go to Greenville to make a new home, that designation is one that will always be shared with Shelby County.

We look forward to embarking on this new chapter in our lives, all the while keeping a special place in our hearts and a close eye on our friends and family in Shelby County.