Take a journey with us

Published 11:54 pm Friday, March 27, 2009

Well here it is, the 2009 Profile edition. It is the biggest thing we as a staff work on each year. But this year’s is particularly special to us for a number of reasons.

This year’s Profile is the first such edition we as a staff have worked on together. Jason Cannon has experience with similar projects from his days in Clanton and Russellville. I was here for the 2008 Demopolis Times edition. But this is the first time that this group has put its collaborative effort into such an undertaking.

More importantly, this Profile stands out because it is yours. It is unlike any issue The Times has ever put out. It isn’t about businesses, but business people. It isn’t about Demopolis, but about Demopolites.

This edition is filled with people who have driven your streets, shopped your shops and attended your schools. Some have moved on from the area while others remain.

This Profile edition is a mosaic of Marengo County citizens past and present whose lives and careers have taken them down countless roads that, at some point, have all wound their way through the Black Belt.

Their stories act as snapshots of the lives they’ve led. Many — like Stephen McLamb and Josh Niblett — are just beginning to bloom while others — such as Jack Kerby and Paul Gresham — are full and majestic in their wealth of experience.

Their stories indiscriminately span ethnicities, genders, ages, social classes, vocations and belief systems to point to a tangible and unmistakable common thread. Their hopes, dreams, successes and failures all have root somewhere in Marengo County.

As a staff, we have been blessed enough to serve as the medium for the relaying of their tales. We have, in some form or another, been escorted through their journeys from adolescence to adulthood and allowed to relay to you, the reader, those things to which we bore witness.

In a business that so often deals with facts and numbers and events, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and the people encircled within its frame. But this edition has allowed us to take a step back, set aside the daily grind of chasing the news and appreciate the odyssey that is this life.

From the Spotted pages —which contain captured moments from the lives of people who still call Marengo home — to the “Where Are They Now?” stories depicting the caricatures of many whose paths have led them beyond the county line, this Profile edition stands as a beautiful portrait that provides glimpses at the past, present and future of the place we and our readers call home.

We hope that as you take these journeys with us, the 2009 Profile is as enjoyable for you to view as it was for us to relay.