In this business you have to pick your battles

Published 2:54 pm Wednesday, December 31, 2003

By Staff
Connie Nowlin Managing editor
When I came to Atmore, I wanted to make a difference here. I knew it was a town in a tight spot, and it needed all the help it could get.
I believe the paper is a big part of that help, not by sugar-coating anything, but by pointing out the facts and letting the readers decide where they want to go with those facts.
I think this year we helped. We have shown the gospel of the everyday in a small town, in this small town, and how good life can be here when we all help one another. We embraced the tax-for-schools issue and came out on the winning side.
But I failed to understand how big a commitment this is. It takes far more time and energy than I could imagine.
And I have a prior commitment, to my son.
So I am going to honor that prior commitment. To do that I have to leave the Advance.
I hate it. I wanted to stay, to fight until this town turns the corner, because I absolutely believe it will happen.
But I cannot fight that fight at the expense of my child. It will only be a little while until Atmore is back on its feet, that there are good jobs and more places to do business.
But in that little while, who is going to teach the little guy right from wrong, his ABCs and how to read?
That is my job.
I will miss this place, miss you people. I love going to the grocery store and seeing people I know, eating dinner at Buster's and hearing people talking about stories we covered.
I don't know what I will do to fill my every-other Wednesday lunchtime, when I usually trade potshots with Robert Maxwell down at the Lions Club. There is great sadness in me to know John Garrard won't call me to remind me of City Council meetings. I will miss George Roberts' exaggerated courtesy when he calls for 'Mrs. Nowlin.' Buck Powell won't ring off with 'Bye, Sug,' and Betty Warren will tell someone else 'Love ya.'
I know I have only been a blip on the radar screen of the Advance history.
But the Advance, Atmore and its people have been much, much more than that to me.
Connie Nowlin was managing editor of the Atmore Advance and may be reached at 368-2123 or email at

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