And so the time comes to bid farewell.
For the past six years (and 14 overall), the News-Topic has served as a full-time home. Be it within the realm of government, sports, news or profiles, I’ve chronicled an area celebrating achievements and overcoming headwinds.
From the “jury box” at the City-County Chambers to the press box of M.S. Deal Stadium, there’s been a place to watch the world of Caldwell County unfold. Through these years I’ve seen the character of an area tested by the challenges of 21st century economics to the finalities of athletic competitions.
And it’s that character, that unwillingness to give in or give up, that makes me proud to call Caldwell County home.
Over the course of this journey, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with and working alongside remarkable individuals. To News-Topic Publisher Terese Almquist, I thank you for your energetic spirit and unwavering confidence. And to Nathan Key – my boss, my friend, my brother – I thank you for your integrity and loyalty.
Then there is Allene Broyhill Stevens, whose warmth and charm exemplify what it means to be a Southern lady. From her hand-written letters to her emails to our encounters at local events, Mrs. Stevens never fails to inspire. She also has provided me with a link to my grandfather, a man who passed long before I was born but who also was a part of this area’s early economic expansion.
In fact, it’s that connection with the past that leads me into the future. Starting on Monday, I will be working at the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. The opportunity marks a reunion with Deborah Murray, the News-Topic’s former publisher, and a chance to work alongside Bobby White, a leader and advocate of this area for many years.
I look forward to this new role because I believe in Caldwell County and its people. Where other communities and counties would have buried their heads in the sand, we have recalibrated our objectives and learned to adapt to a new reality. And it’s within that backdrop that leads me to believe that our best days are yet to come.
I leave you with a verse from one of my favorite poets. And I look forward to seeing so many of you on this new journey.
“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Eliot
Paul Teague is the former news editor of the News-Topic.