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How do you pack 15 years of memories?

In March of 1998, upon the untimely death of Joe McDonald, thisbecame my “spot” on the DAILY LEADER editorial page.

In the years since, I’ve used this column space to write aboutmany different subjects, but not nearly as well as Joe did. Withthe exception of two other columns — one written after Joe’s deathand the other after the death of my grandmother — is the hardestone I’ve ever written.

It is also probably the last one I’ll write for The DAILYLEADER.

The time has come to move on, so I’ll be returning to northMississippi at the end of the month to be closer to my family.

After some 28 years of newspapering, I’ll be taking a careerbreak, too. I’m going back to college to complete the education Istarted but abandoned for a career that has, literally, been mylife.

Before I go, I have to say a few “thank yous.”

I must start with my DAILY LEADER family. I’m grateful for theyears I’ve worked here, and I appreciate the many kindnesses shownto me by the Jacobs family. Brookhaven and Lincoln County areblessed to have one of the few family-owned newspapers left in thecountry. This newspaper wants to see Brookhaven and Lincoln Countygrow and prosper. That, too, is a blessing for the community.

Some of the folks who were working here when I walked in thedoor on Sept. 18, 1989, are still here: Bob Ferrell in production,Sports Editor Tom Goetz, Advertising Account Representative JimmieGale Cain, Pressroom Manager Malcolm Stewart, Retail AdvertisingManager Glynna Broxson and Sports Writer Richard Dube. They are allspecial to me.

Trying to thank everyone would take too much space, but I dowant to mention specifically my newsroom staff. Along with Tom andRichard, I have worked side-by-side with News Editor MatthewColeman, Lifestyles Editor Cassandra Johnson and Staff Writer ScottTynes for many years. I am proud of their work. I am even prouderto count them among my friends.

Some former staff members — Geri Jinks, Sarah Holcombe, LucyShell, Jonathon Alford, Thomas Wells, David Bundy, Sue Minter,Natalie Davis, Mitchell Waldon and Frances Peavey — are alsospecial to me.

I’ll take many fond memories of Brookhaven and Lincoln Countywith me when I go. How could I forget 13 years of living at theInez Hotel? Many thanks to my friends and former neighbors who arestill there.

Although I’ll no longer be able to work for the organization, Iwill continue to support Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln Countywith my prayers. This is such a special ministry, and thevolunteers who keep it going do a great job.

There are so many people — so many good memories — that Icherish.

I guess it’s time to go now.

This is the end, but it is also the beginning.

Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to nlaster@telepak.net.

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