1st impressions

Published 8:59 am Friday, August 15, 2014

I can truly say it’s been an interesting 10 weeks as the new staff writer for the Daily News and being a new resident of Bogalusa.

I and my finance, Gail, came to Bogalusa from McComb, Miss., where I was born and raised. Gail hails from Jackson, Miss.

Like many newcomers to the city, the only thing I ever knew about Bogalusa beforehand was the paper mill.

We have hit the ground running trying to meet as many people as we can.

Our first impression of the city was how friendly and outgoing everybody is.

We’ve had our challenges. Both of us came down sick soon after arriving.

I had fever with a temperature of about 103 and my legs broke out in a rash.

I don’t have an explanation for that. Gail’s vertigo acted up and that took awhile for her to get over it.

But like I said, we haven’t found any nicer people. anywhere.

The first time I met Mayor Charles Mizell was at a city council meeting not long after we arrived.

He remembered my name the second time we came across each other not too long afterward. That left a lasting impression on me.

Starting work at the Daily News on June 9, we got to experience the Centennial Jubilee Celebration and all the excitement surrounding it. Citizens got busy beautifying their homes and property before the big event.

As a new resident of the city, I believe I can say it.

We must not lose the excitement and momentum of beautifying the city from the Centennial and strive to make the area noticeably cleaner and well kept all year around.

High grass, unpainted homes and businesses in town with missing letters off their name are too numerous to count.

That was one of the first things we noticed when we came. Let’s quit making excuses and clean up and repair what is ours.

The city council meetings have been interesting, to say the least. Bogalusa resident Fate Farrell likes to address the council and ask the body to enforce property laws so citizens will clean up their homes.

I think Farrell has the best interests of the city at heart, but his all-too-direct and in-your face approach rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

I’m not saying Farrell is wrong in the way he does it. As the old saying goes, “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” might prove more beneficial in some way.

I think he should be commended for his interest in the city. Bogalusa has enough vinegar spread out all over the place. Let’s try spreading something sweet. Who knows? It might work.

Randy Hammons is a staff reporter for the Daily News. He can be contacted at 732-2565 or by email at randy.hammons@thebogalusadailynews.com.