I have been the publisher of The Daily Star for more than a year. I have been out in the communities, meeting with many readers, advertisers and civic organizations, getting to know our area that we call home.
For those I have not met yet, here is a little about me: I am from Georgia and was raised a Southerner. My daddy was from Michigan and was transferred to Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga. He met and married a Georgia peach (my mother) and stayed in Georgia the rest of his life. My father was dubbed “Yank” and worked at a paper mill in south Georgia. The joke in our family was that he made the paper and I sold and managed it.
As a kid, I mowed yards and had a newspaper route for my hometown newspaper to make money. I had no idea that one day I would be a newspaper publisher. I also worked on farms growing tobacco, watermelons, peanuts and cotton (very hard work) and swore that when I got out of school that farming would not be in my future.
Fast-forward from what seemed a lifetime ago. Now I have a pecan farm in South Georgia and love to ride my tractor and tend to the trees when I go back home to see my family. (My daddy told me: “Never say never, son.”)
I grew up in a household of Southern etiquette and respect. Part of growing up Southern is that any response to a question (especially from an adult) would be followed by “sir” or “ma’am,” a practice I still do today and have taught my daughter, as well. (Respect never goes out of style.) I was talking with a customer on the phone the other day, and she stated, “I can tell by your accent that you are a Southern gentleman.” While growing up in the South, you do not think about it, but as you get older, you realize what an honor and privilege it is to have that statement said about you.