Good to be back in Peach Country

Published 9:22 am Monday, December 22, 2014

“Chilton County will always hold a special place in my heart. No matter how far I go, no matter how much time passes, you’ll always be special to me. I feel like I owe this place so much. So, instead of goodbye, let’s just say ‘I’ll see you soon.’”

You know, I hesitate to call it prophetic, but it wasn’t too bad a shot to call. A saccharine sweet, I-can’t-believe-I-wrote-that shot to call, but not a bad one.

I wrote that my last day with the Advertiser back in April of 2013, and I knew I’d come back. I didn’t know how, I didn’t know when, but for some reason, I knew I wasn’t done here.

And I must’ve been right, because here I am.

When the opportunity to come back to Clanton opened up, I knew I had to take it. Even if it was just a whim, I knew I’d kick myself if I didn’t at least explore the opportunity to return to a community like this.

I enjoyed my last job, no doubt about it. I worked with wonderful people and I learned a lot about refining my craft. But nothing is like going back to the place where you started.

You can’t replicate the feeling of community around Chilton County. It’s a county made up of small towns that feels like one big small town. Everyone knows everyone, and it’s a tight fabric that seems to tie everyone together.

I’m looking forward to what this job will entail. From covering sports, to feature stories to getting out in the communities and telling the stories that matter to you, the reader, this is what I am looking for in a journalistic endeavor.

Now, I don’t expect things to be exactly as how I left them. Times change, people change and places change. It’s inevitable, and a part of life.

That said, I still see the same hospitality here as when I left. I still see the same honest people that are trying to improve the county as when I left. I know I’ve changed too, but I’d like to think it’s for the better, as a writer and a person.

It feels good to be back. It almost feels like I’ve come home.

–Drew Granthum is a staff writer for The Clanton Advertiser.