Will Davis

Monroe County has a lot of newcomers and many of them come to the Reporter office. Usually they want the answer to some question. 

“Who has internet service here?”

“Where do we pay our water bill?”

“Who the heck is Don Daniel?”

After all, newspapers are supposed to have the answers right?

“What’s this town like?” one of them asked me last week.

“Well,” I replied. “Tell me what the town you came from was like.”

“Oh it was awful,” he said. “Everybody was out for themselves and they would backstab you in a heartbeat.”

I sighed. He continued.

“There’s a little clique that ran everything and they wouldn’t let anyone else rise or do well where I lived,” he added. “Sorriest bunch of people I’ve ever seen. Is this town that way?”

I looked at him and gave him the bad news. “Yep that’s pretty much what you’ll find this town is like.”

The next day, a lady came by the office with the same question.

“Well tell me about the town where you lived,” I offered.

“Oh it was wonderful,” she said. “I hated to leave but I needed to move near family. Everyone looked after each other and took care of each other’s needs. It was such a charming place to live.” 

“Well,” I assured her, “you’ll find that Forsyth and Monroe County are just like that!”

The story’s apocryphal, but it has a ring of truth. People usually find what they’re looking for. 

Sometimes Monroe County folks will speak to me almost apologetically because they know somebody who rants and raves about how they don’t like me or the Reporter. And it’s true I have very loyal friends, because they often have to defend me. But I assure them, this community treats me and the Reporter quite well. 

Here are just a few of the people for whom I’m thankful this Thanksgiving:

• Amy McMichael, the sheriff’s office records clerk, who sends us mugshots and reports every Monday morning like clockwork.

• Franklin Freeman, my retired attorney friend who wears me out with slams from the net during doubles tennis every Thursday and Sunday night at the Mary Persons courts. He usually comments on something that was in the paper, which of course makes my day.

• Paul Karpinezc, who’s been delivering the Reporter faithfully for almost 10 years. He never misses a day or calls in sick. If he’s out, he arranges for someone else to handle the job. But the part about Paul is that, like his sweet late mother Mrs. K, he always has an encouraging word. He’s one of the most positive people I know.

• David Asbell, the acerbic Forsyth police sergeant who looks at life with the jaundiced eye of a long-time officer, or of a long-time newspaper editor. I think the city has barred him from speaking publicly to the Reporter because his quotes are so funny. Guess he’ll have to be quoted anonymously.

• Monroe County teachers. Again, I can’t mention their names. Current school administration are not always big fans of the Reporter (though they read it cover to cover). I was talking to one at a school board meeting one time and whispered to her, “you better move away from me. You don’t want them to see you talking to me! It could kill your career!” She gave me a big hug anyway. Love wins!

• Brad Freeman and Jonathan Adams. OK the newspaper editor has to be careful not get to too close to his community’s top law enforcement folks. Objectivity and all that. But Monroe County is really blessed to have two guys who, though imperfect, aim to do the right thing and remain accessible to the newspaper, and therefore to the people of the community.

This is only a partial list but I’m out of room. I could go on and on and on. Monroe County, I am grateful for you. You’re so good to us at the Reporter. Happy Thanksgiving!