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Appreciative of the opportunity, moving on

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By Will Phillips

 

When I came to Henry County, I couldn’t have been more excited. I had my first real job in my career and was moving to Louisville with my wife. 

I had a lot of ideas about how to make things better here, how to elevate this paper and make it a force in the community. 

I planned to stay here for at least a couple of years, to take in everything I could and learn while in a somewhat more laid-back environment.

That feels like it was 100 years ago. A lot has happened since March, when I first joined the staff of the Local, some bad and some good. 

I’ve gained an immense appreciation for this county and its people and I’ve learned a lot about the history of the various towns and communities in Henry County. 

I’ve worked hard to rebuild some bridges that had been burned in the past and I hope I’ve made some connections with people.

Although I never lived in Henry County, I feel as though it’s a second home to me, even now. 

Of course, that is due in large part to my co-workers here at the Local. Melissa, Greg, Chris, Phyllis, Barbara and Tawnja were never anything but supportive as I learned the ins and outs of not only Henry County but also news writing in general. 

Former editor Brad Bowman did a lot to show me how to be a reporter and when he left, Melissa, followed by Chris, picked up the slack. 

I know my writing wasn’t always the best, but they stuck with me even when I’m sure there were times when they were frustrated with my inexperience. 

Outside of the paper, I’ve met some incredible individuals throughout the towns of Henry County. 

Our two superintendents, Buddy Berry of Eminence and Tim Abrams from Henry County were always quick to help and provided me with plenty of quotes and stories in my short time here. 

I’ve talked with legislators and state congressmen, as well as small business owners, schoolteachers and others. 

The incredibly dedicated individuals at the Extension Office and Chamber of Commerce were always available and helped me immensely with various stories. 

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

This will be my last week writing for the Local, but I will always take a part of Henry County with me wherever I go. If I could supplant this county and take it back home with me, I would. 

I will be writing for the LaRue County Herald News in Hodgenville starting Monday. 

My wife and I will be moving back home to Campbellsville to be closer to family. And I knew for a fact that it was the right decision, right up until I had the sudden very startling realization that, when it came right down to it, I don’t want to leave. 

Of course, I know that the opportunity to own land and a home and help my mother with my aging grandparents is the way to go, but that doesn’t change how I feel about leaving Henry County. 

My time at the Local has been some of the most rewarding, frustrating, exhilarating, boring, important time in my life. 

And although the Local is a newspaper, it isn’t made of ink and parchment. 

It’s made of, supported by and built on people. People who care about this county and its residents and what happens to them. 

People who know this place and its people and bring them the news not because they expect to be loved for it, but because they know you want and need it. So I’m not leaving a newspaper. Leaving a newspaper is easy. 

I’m leaving a community. And that’s much harder.