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Living out a dream and crossing things off my bucket list is what I have had the opportunity to do for the past two years as I have worked at The News-Democrat.
As a child of 7 or 8, I produced a hand written newspaper of sorts for my subdivision in Mason, Ohio. I only put out several editions before I realized how hard it was to hand write several copies every week.
Next I was the editor of our junior high school newspaper and then worked on my high school yearbook and was editor of the high school newspaper when I was a senior.
I have always loved words, the English language and writing and wanted to work as a reporter, but my career path took me in a completely different direction.
When I returned to work several years ago after a five-year battle with scleroderma, I decided to give writing a try. I had already been a dance teacher, a florist, a retail manager, a studio photographer, a secretary and an office manager, so why not go completely off the wall and give this a shot.
I have loved this job more than anything else I have ever done.
I know I have angered more than one reader out there and my circle of friends got somewhat smaller as people disagreed with some of the things I have covered and written. But even with the rabid fans of Anderson County emailing and calling me after my comments about their behavior last year at a girl’s ball game, I still love this job.
It’s hectic, it’s frustrating, it’s demanding, but it’s also interesting, exciting and like getting a college education every day I came to work.
I have learned about state and local government, how law enforcement and the court systems work, all that goes on in the school systems and the untold number events that happen in Carroll County.
I love sports and I have had the chance to go to any sporting event I wanted, sit on the floor, in the dugout, or on the sideline, and for free no less. And all I had to do in return was to tell you what I saw. Who would not love this job?
I’ve sat in on trials and court proceedings, been invited to cover drug raids, and been asked to leave some places as well.
I’ve been to fairs, festivals, school plays, musicals, band concerts, art showcases, cornhole tournaments, fishing tournaments, open houses, check presentations and so many other events.
I have watched your children grow up, graduate and go off to college.
I will miss you all.
Please don’t ever say there is nothing to do in Carroll County, because there are fun things going on almost daily.
I now find myself once again struggling with health issues that prevent me from doing this job on a daily basis.
But I wanted to thank all those of you who have helped me in any way, given me a tip, a lead, a juicy quote or comment and have made this so much fun.
I hope to cross other items off my bucket list in the future, but this one has been a huge challenge but also a blast.
See you in the funny paper.
Sharon Graves is staff writer for The News-Democrat and resides in Ghent, Ky.