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Newspaper staff became second family

Newspaper staff became second family
Newspaper staff became second family
J.C. Lyell

A year and a half ago, I started an internship at The Corydon Democrat. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career, but I knew I liked to write and I cared about the community that made me who I am. It was a natural fit for a 22-year-old homesick University of Louisville student.

What I didn’t know was that, in the short 18 months that followed, I would come to know and love every member of O’Bannon Publishing Co. as part of a second family.

After my internship and graduation, I joined the team full time. That opportunity helped me learn and grow while experiencing things I never would have had the chance to if not for the support of the O’Bannon family and the rest of The Corydon Democrat staff.

Through all the festivals, new businesses, board meetings, roadside photos, press releases and Live Wire calls I’ve experienced, I’ve never seen anything that would make me wish I was anywhere else.

Not everything has been pure bliss; we’ve lost staff members I had gotten to know well, and I’ve been on the receiving end of my fair share of criticism. But, the support system that took me in at the newspaper and the culture of this community are all I’ve needed to keep coming into work every day with a smile on my face.

In writing for the paper, I’ve learned a great deal of things I wish I could have included in my stories. I’ve never met a board of directors that has as much fun at its meetings as that of the Harrison County Regional Sewer District; I’ve never heard of a group of people so helpful and accommodating as Harrison County’s three public school corporation superintendents and staff; and I never knew that breaking a drawer at my desk could be so loud and embarrassing (sorry, Chris and Ross).

If it’s not obvious by this point in the column, my time at The Corydon Democrat is coming to a close, and I couldn’t be more grateful for what everyone in the office and in the community has done for me.

Thank you to Jo Ann for being the most patient, thoughtful, kind and caring person I could ever ask for in a boss. I cannot stress enough how much of her time was sacrificed by listening to me talk about meetings and articles when a more experienced writer would not have needed help or by answering trivial questions. I’ll always be grateful for her patience, wisdom and dedication to this community, its people and the newspaper.

Thank you to Chris T. for never complaining, even on my most talkative days. When I would share my favorite gossip of the day or ask him overly specific questions that he’d have no context with which to answer, he never made me feel like a burden, even when hindsight can tell me on occasion, I clearly was.

Thank you to Ross, Brian and Chris A. for teaching me by way of your actions and getting me up to speed so I could fill in where I could in your absences. You have been and will continue to be greatly missed.

Thank you to Jon and Soni for taking a chance on me and having my back when the going got rough. From day one, you two have respected me and valued my input in ways I never anticipated as an inexperienced new hire.

And thank you to everyone else who helped me learn the ropes in the workplace, in the beats I covered and in the community I love.

Looking ahead, I can confidently say my time covering education for the paper has given me the courage to go back to school for a life-long passion I didn’t have the guts to try initially: computer science.

I am going to school full time at Indiana University Southeast for a few years now in hopes of attaining another degree and starting a new career as a programmer, but I’ll never forget the people, the culture and the community that made me who I am.

Thank you.