Oh, the places I can only hope to go

My career at the Shelby County Reporter has taken me unexpected places.

Three and a half years ago, as my first official assignment, I sifted through the myths, legends and lore of a giant catfish in Lay Lake.

Last summer I kayaked those same brilliant waters.

I’ve covered an apartment fire at 2 a.m. and written a feature story at 4 a.m.

I’ve ridden on the Polar Express to the North Pole and tasted wines made in our county’s own soil.

I’ve savored in the symphony playing at the University of Montevallo and had my mouth water over food at Fox Valley.

I’ve met glass artists, painters, actors and singers.

I’ve hiked at Oak Mountain and rode the Ferris wheel at the Shelby County Fair.

I’ve met parents who stretch themselves as far as they can to provide a home to kids not their own, people who wake up every Saturday morning before dawn to feed those in need and teachers who see the beauty in every single child.

This paper, the people who work for it and the people it serves have created a rich environment, which allowed me to achieve some of the loftiest goals of my professional life.

I’ve written stories that drove me to tears, produced beautiful magazines, been privileged to work for an award-winning paper and have met people who will long be close to my heart.

I am forever indebted to you, Shelby County.

Most recently in my career, I found myself peering out the window of a plane on my way to Tryon, N.C.

Just on the border of South Carolina, this town, tucked away in the mountains, is home to the Tryon Daily Bulletin, one of the newest papers in the Boone Newspaper family (which is the Shelby County Reporter’s parent company).

As of today, I have the pleasure of serving as that paper’s editor. While this means I will no longer be combing through Shelby County’s great stories, I am excited to see what Polk County, North Carolina has in store for me.

You have so kindly shared with me many great adventures.

I could only be so lucky for the new phase of my career with the Bulletin to take me as far and offer me the grand opportunity to befriend such amazing people as I have here.

Shelby County — I’ll miss you, more than you know.

Samantha Hurst is the editor of the Tryon Daily Bulletin in Tryon, N.C.