Michelle Leicester

Michelle Leicester

I have started and re-started this column three times now.

Goodbyes are never easy and through the tears I’m finding that statement to be even more true as I write this.

If someone had told me March 2, 2001, when I stepped into The Chowan Herald’s office that I would be making a career in the newspaper business, I would have probably laughed and said no I’m here to learn graphics and more about part of the printing industry. It was my second semester of my freshman year at Chowan College majoring in Graphic Communications.

At the time, David Crawley was the publisher and gave me a chance to do that.

I trained under Debbie Collins who is a wonderful graphic designer and sweet Sue Bunch for administrative and circulation duties.

It wasn’t long before I was working between The Chowan Herald and Bertie Ledger-Advance and then just the Bertie Ledger-Advance.

I was very excited as it was my hometown newspaper and I grew up reading it.

20 years later I was working with the Bertie Ledger-Advance, The Enterprise, Eastern North Carolina Living Magazine and doing some commercial printing.

After much prayer and thinking I have decided to start a new chapter in my life. As goodbyes are never easy, that is also the case for change, but I truly feel that God has opened a new door for me. May 26 which oddly would have been my father’s birthday, I accepted a position with Martin County Schools as a Bookkeeper for one of the elementary schools. Tuesday, June 6 was my first day.

I can’t help but think my father was looking down from Heaven when I made my decision.

I’m very excited but it is really bittersweet.

I have truly enjoyed working with this group of newspapers over the years and love my co-workers, former co-workers and customers.

It has never seemed like a job to me because how much I have enjoyed it.

I hope that I have blessed them as much as they have blessed me over the years.

The author, A.A. Milne said “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Looking back at that day on March 2, 2001, I made one of the best decisions that I have ever made which is why it makes saying goodbye so hard.

My co-workers became a second family to me and supported me through both heartaches and joyful times.

Working for the newspapers allowed me to grow my graphics skills, grow as a person and make many friends both through work and in the community.

Please continue to support the local newspapers. The newspaper is a major asset to the community. The staff works incredibly hard to produce the award winning products that they do.

As Dr. Seuss said “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Even though I am crying because I am leaving, I am still smiling due to the wonderful experiences I have had and the amazing friends that I have made.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.