Say ‘Good night, Gracie’ — and thanks

Published 10:59 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For the last couple of months or so, The Demopolis Times has had the benefit of an extra reporter — who actually did the work of two or three reporters.

Gracie Smith will be on her way back to school at Vanderbilt later this week, spending much of the summer as an intern here at our newspaper.

She is a student who is still learning about the world of journalism, but she did impressive work for the newspaper and its products like “Pink” magazine. Although she has only completed two years of college, she showed the writing talent and creativity of a seasoned pro.

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Yes, she is a college student. Yes, she goes to Vanderbilt. Yes, she has taken journalism classes and has a former publisher as a father. But I want one thing to remain with you when you think about our talented intern.

She is from Demopolis.

I don’t say that like, “She’s good, despite being from Demopolis.” Far from it. Hey, I’m from Demopolis. (Well, maybe that’s not such a good example.)

Our fair town with its perpetual population of 7,800 or so has always produced talented people in many different fields: stock broker, athletics, banking, politics, writing and many others.

As the new school year begins, I want to encourage our own students to become one of those talents in whatever field they choose.

As you can see, being from Demopolis in no way limits people from not only pursuing their dream but excelling in it.

Students, you may not know what you want to do for a career yet, and that’s OK. Just don’t use the excuse of growing up in a small town as a reason to fail. It won’t work. It hasn’t worked, at least not for people from around here.

Gracie graduated from Demopolis High School in 2007. She’s not sure herself what she wants to do once she graduates from college, but she enjoys working in journalism, which is a wide-ranging career area, from news media to public relations to Internet reporting and many other occupations.

While Gracie benefitted from her work here, this newspaper and its readers also benefitted during her short stay.

Thanks, Gracie, and good luck.