Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Columns

December 20, 2013

Exciting year draws to a close

BLUEFIELD — One of the main reasons I took a job with the Daily Telegraph is because I love the news. I loved reading all the cartoons, marriage announcements and Dear Abby columns growing up and still do. Until I began working here, I never realized the amount of effort it takes to produce a newspaper every day.

People might think that we work a 9-to-5 day, but it’s far from the truth. We work hard to find out the facts and work on a deadline every day. Many of us are here until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. at night and sometimes later depending on what is going on. Some of us are heading home when something happens and we have to turn around and come back.

I guess I never really thought about where all the news came from until now. My husband still can’t figure out how we find out everything we do. He is always asking, “Well how did you know that was going to happen?” or “How did you find that out?”

He tells me that I should have been a detective because I always have a way of finding out everything I want and I snoop around until I get what I am looking for. He jokingly calls me McGruff the Crime Dog and Nancy Drew. How ironic I own the whole collection of the Nancy Drew books and probably read every one twice when I was a child. 

I tell people I love working here because I get the gossip firsthand. Not to mention Editor Samantha Perry has helped me hone in on my detective work.

Moving to a new state and not knowing many people, the Telegraph has brought me out of my shell the past few months I have worked here.

I have only lived in two places my whole life, Hampton, Va., and Blacksburg, Va., and when you’re not in a school or social setting it becomes hard to meet people. So working as a reporter, I am constantly out and about and yapping on the phone all day. What woman doesn’t enjoy that?

It has been enlightening learning about Mercer and McDowell counties, and neighboring Tazewell County. We have lived here since the beginning of January, but I never explored anywhere until I started work at the paper.

They send me out to assignments and I have to ask, “Where is that?” My GPS has come in handy more than once, yet I have been told not to rely on it.

On my first trip to McDowell, we happened to run across two little puppies in the middle of the road. And when I say the middle of the road I mean they were under my car. How could we leave these little babies? Two cars had almost run over them while we were trying to decide what to do.

After an afternoon spent in the newsroom, these two sweet puppies are now being spoiled to death by loving families.

I am constantly doing something new every day, it is never the same boring day. Plus at any moment we can have breaking news, which is always exciting.

I have also made wonderful friends. Lifestyles Editor Jamie Null and I had an instant connection when I first started. We chatted about wedding plans nonstop, since she was getting married and I just had. Now we fill our days talking about all the cleaning and cooking we do.

I think Charles and Greg sometimes feel outnumbered in the newsroom when Jamie, Sam and I start talking about hair and nails — but we sure do have some good laughs.

I have met so many wonderful people and continue to go on many new adventures. A few weeks ago I went to War for a story on an animal hoarding situation. This girl was seeing things she had never seen before. In fact some lady told me, “Honey you look like a fish out of water down here.”

I have covered more board meetings and city council meetings than I ever expected and I am sure there will be many more to come. But I have met wonderful mayors, board members and other city officials.

Last year around this time, I was graduating college and wondering what the future held for me.

I must say 2013 has been a wonderful year even with all the ups and downs, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I am so excited to see what the year 2014 holds for me and looking forward to all the exciting adventures and travels that the Daily Telegraph will provide for me.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all!

Anne Elgin is a reporter for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Contact her at aelgin@bdtonline.com. Follow her on twitter @BDTElgin.

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