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A fond farewell

Posted: February 26, 2013 2:40 p.m.
Updated: February 27, 2013 5:00 a.m.

One of my first tastes of a slice of life in Camden came nearly two years ago after cruising down the Wateree River with a couple of pirates.

Well, actually it was two guys dressed as pirates helping me cruise down the river to a ship built under Interstate 20.

The task at hand was clear. I was to chronicle the adventures of the “Wateree River Pirates,” the nickname of a Camden duo constructing a giant, 50-foot-long boat near Exit 98. 

After being hired by the Chronicle-Independent only a week or so prior, I was up to the challenge, but still felt a little out of my comfort zone. Being a bit of a city slicker, I wasn’t a wearer of overalls or accustomed to the need for trailer hitches, but being a born and bred South Carolinian, I was surely a leg up on some.

Although the terrain on the river that day was foreign, the experience turned into one of the most memorable and enjoyable stories I’ve been able to write in my relatively young journalism career.

Fortunately, that was just one of the first of many opportunities I’ve been able to savor during my time in Camden. Since coming to work at the C-I in the summer of 2011, I’ve had a number of writing assignments I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else. I’ve visited the state’s largest dairy farm in Rembert. I’ve been whipped around a race track in a high speed patrol car by sheriff’s deputies. I’ve even interviewed some of the state’s highest ranking public officials, including Vincent Sheheen, Jean Toal and Alan Wilson.  

It’s with these fond memories and many others over the last 22 months that I say farewell to the readers of the C-I. As I transition into a new opportunity in the newspaper business, I feel grateful to have been afforded the chance to begin my post college career in Camden.

As an aspiring journalist coming out of college, I had no clue where I would end up. The job market was bleak enough at the time that it seemed even a college graduate was underqualified to sell sunglasses at the mall. Luckily, I was offered a job in my home state and given an incredible opportunity to learn the ropes in an inviting, small town, local news environment.

Mostly reporting on county news for the C-I, I’ve been very thankful for the professionalism shown by so many public officials over the last couple of years. I really feel I’ve been able to develop lasting relationships in Kershaw County without forgetting the much needed watchdog role of a reporter.

I’m also appreciative of all the feedback I’ve received from readers since coming to Camden. It always puts a smile on my face when someone says they’ve enjoyed a piece I’ve written, particularly one of my weekly columns. I’ve somewhat indulged myself on the inside pages of the C-I each Wednesday by commenting, analyzing, and of course venting about the world of sports. Thank you to all who read those each week.

As I move into a new chapter of my life, I’m certainly grateful for all the memories and friendships I’ve made in Camden. I hope they last not only a career, but a lifetime.   


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