Looking at Year One:Casting Off the 'New'
It's happened recently at church, in the gym, outside The Country Bookshop on Broad Street.
Folks strike up a conversation with, "You're the new editor of The Pilot, right?" Or I'll be with a friend who will introduce me: "John's the new editor of The Pilot."
When I started at the job, people joked I could be "new" for six months. Others suggested I could ride the adjective a solid year.
Well, while it hardly feels like a month, next Tuesday marks a year since I began as editor of The Pilot. If time flies when you're having fun, then I've been borne on wings these past 12 months. I, Leslie and the kids have found here a life scaled for living, a community open to inclusion and a job equal to every challenge I've ever demanded.
Anyone can be forgiven for experiencing a gut-clenching "What Have I Done?" moment upon taking a new job and uprooting his family to a new community. That queasy moment never came to pass for us. Our transition here was as natural and easy as the spring breeze through the longleaf pines. The kids got acclimated to their new schools, met and made friends and got the one thing they'd wanted for a while: a puppy.
Coming to work at The Pilot has been a joy each day. I work with fun, creative and energetic people, but I've loved the way folks come through our doors to interact with us. I've regaled Cub Scouts with our "old-timey" typewriters, listened to some amazing stories and made friends.
I hope I've been a good steward of this newsroom and provided the information you want. Later this month, we will head to Chapel Hill to pick up at least 13 awards from the N.C. Press Association for our work the past year.
There's more that we're doing and will present in the coming year. We want to improve our design and our writing and be more crisply edited. We will roll out our new website this spring and give you some cool new tools so that you can be involved also.
On a personal note, Leslie and the kids and I lead busy lives here without having to overschedule ourselves. We've sampled hungrily from the buffet of activities: Palustris, Stoneybrook Steeplechase, First Fridays, movies at the Sunrise Theater, all the farmers markets, Tuesday evening at Maness Pottery and Music Barn, lunch at the Pik N Pig, Saturday morning doughnuts from Granny's, AC Sandhills Soccer games off Morganton Road, dinners at the Pinecrest Inn and the 1895 Grille, shopping along Broad Street and Pinehurst's village shops.
I'm surprised at all that we still have yet to do: a night at The Rooster's Wife, Live After Five in Pinehurst, breakfast at the Harness Track restaurant, Farmer's Day in Robbins, Buggy Fest in Carthage, Sandhills Farm To Table, antiquing in Cameron, walks through the beautiful Sandhills Community College gardens, a visit to Pooch Park in the Pines, a hike through Nick's Creek Greenway. I'm chagrined that the list is this long, and I know I'm forgetting other things.
This is a special place, and if you've lived here even for a little while you know that. There is a strength in this community you don't find many places. It is strength of friendship, strength of caring, strength of achievement. We don't wait around and expect someone else to solve our problems.
Where there are problems, there are community-created and funded efforts to solve them. When the Sunrise Theater needed $70,000 for a new digital projector, it asked patrons for support. It got the money - and then some - ahead of schedule. The Moore County Free Care Clinic, which offers health care to the poor and those without insurance, is in perpetual need for support. When it decided to embark upon a new fundraiser later this month - a radiothon - businesses and community leaders jumped on board to pull it off.
One of my favorite meetings is the quarterly Interagency Council at the Senior Enrichment Center. Representatives from nonprofit agencies share what they're working on. I leave those meetings inspired by the work these coordinators and volunteers are doing for the betterment of Moore County.
So this has been Year One. Much has been accomplished, and much has yet to be done. As editor, I have had the privilege to meet a number of you, hear your stories, learn of your deeds. What great fun it is to share all that with the rest of the county, and time flies when you're having fun.
Contact John Nagy at (910) 693-2507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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