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‘New Neighbor’ feature has newsroom on alert

All of us at The Corydon Democrat newsroom who have participated in the ‘Your New Neighbors’ weekly feature are having more fun, I think, than the new neighbors. They’re often from such highly populated areas that I’m sure they wonder why on earth we’re interested in them.
The No. 1 reason, I’ll admit, is that editor-in-chief Randy West had a brainstorm all on his own one night that the feature would be interesting to readers, and no one was around to persuade him differently. Now if any of you really know Randy West, you are aware that once he has made up his mind to do something, it would take something larger than a steamroller to stop him.
So … he came in here and laid down the law: Find a new neighbor every week, find out what they are all about, where they came from, etc., etc. Find the story within the story, because everyone has one.
This would not be difficult at all if it weren’t for the ‘every’ week part. It has me so jumpy that even at the recent hospital forum, when a host of people were testifying one after another about the need for a new hospital or the role the current one has played in their lives, the only thing I could think about was tackling a particular woman who said she was ‘lucky to come back home after all those years.’
I tugged Randy, who was busy taking her picture, and pleaded: ‘New neighbor. Get a phone number!’
I don’t know if he did or not, but if he did, I think he’s keeping it to himself. He has to do his part, too, so he might be overly protective of his contacts.
But we do have a few good resources we can rely upon, and then some. Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor has so far been the luckiest. A couple who just moved in called her after reading the paper and deciding they would like to be ‘new neighbors.’
I asked Jo Ann: ‘Do you enjoy doing the New Neighbors column?’
‘I’ve only done one, and they called us because they’d seen it in the paper and wanted to be the new neighbors,’ she said. ‘People seem to like it whether we do or not.’
Now you would think Beverly Herndon would have more contacts than any of us, because she also works at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Corydon, where people stream through the doors at all hours. But that’s not all there is to it. You can’t just grab some unfamiliar face and start the questions. It takes a little more tact than that, and timing.
‘I’ve done one, and I’ve got another couple set up, but we can’t get together on our times,’ Bev said.
‘I don’t mind writing it. It’s just trouble finding one.’
Then there’s Charles Ewry, who recently had a great interview but couldn’t come up with a picture.
‘I’m not into it,’ he said. ‘But (Randy’s) committed us to a year of it, so I think we’re stuck anyway.’
Don’t you just love a guy who doesn’t mince words!
I’m not sure what we will do if a week goes by with no one moving in or coming home. That’s where you can help ‘ please!
Let us know if you hear of someone. And please send us any pertinent info, and we’ll do the rest. Just e-mail [email protected]
Thanks.

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