I love karaoke. I mean, I love to sing karaoke. Not because I have an amazing voice, but because it is simply something to me that is fun. I try to pick songs that I think the listeners would have fun with. However, there is one thing about karaoke that intimidates: stepping up to the mic after an amazing singer, one you know will be a tough act to follow.
In some ways I feel that way right now. As I am stepping in to my new position as managing editor, I know I have some large shoes to fill. My predecessor, Mark Rogers, did a great job covering the news for The Columbian-Progress, including having a wonderful relationship with our officials.
There are many similarities between Mark and I. We are both transplants from the North, though technically I was born South of the Mason-Dixie Line (in Maryland). We are both animal lovers. I have two dogs and a chicken. We both love to eat, and both of us are passionate about writing, not to mention both of us are friendly people.
But enough about Mark. I am stepping in the role as a journalist as “wet behind the ears.” While I understand many aspects of newspapers and a lot of the details it entails, just going out finding stories and writing about them is something I am learning. My biggest concern is that I will be fair and accurate in all of my reporting and that I can deliver articles to you that are good and easy to read and understand.
In my previous position here I learned there is so much good and bad in our county. I have laughed and I have cried over things I have seen and heard. I also have learned that there is hope and room for growth as well. Marion County has a history to expand and a desire to move into the future, making this such a wonderful location.
An interesting tidbit that I discovered this past year is my connection to this place was established long before I was born. During a historical tour, I learned that Benjamin Lee, the founder of the first Columbia Academy, the first school in Marion County, was born in Robeson County, N.C. My family genealogy shows that part of my family is from Robeson County. Digging deeper, I discovered that Lee had an uncle named John Lee. John Lee married Rebekah Kinlaw, who happens to be my great aunt several generations back, making Benjamin and I distant cousins. That connection has made me even prouder to be living here.
I moved to Marion County because my husband was raised here. My closest relatives besides my children and in-laws live just north of Atlanta.
So to find out there was a connection that was nearly 200 years old was simply amazing.
My prayer is that you, the readers and Marion County, will give me a chance. I have the love and desire for this place. I’m here with a smile and ready to take on all Marion County has to offer both good and bad. I am ready for us to all work together to make Columbia and Marion County greater than ever.
It is my hope that my tenure here as managing editor will be a long and wonderful one for the community and for myself. Please do not be afraid to contact me or stop by The C-P’s office and introduce yourself and say hello. I am looking forward to all the great things that are happening in our community and glad to be on the stage for this song.
Susan Amundson began this week as managing editor of The Columbian-Progress. She may be reached at (601) 736-2611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.