Enjoyed my time at the Daily News

Published 8:41 am Friday, January 15, 2016

It’s been great, but the time has come for Gail and me to move on.

Today is my final day working at The Daily News. It’s been an experience I won’t soon forget. We’ll never forget the life-long friendships we’ve made while being a part of the community.

I’ve accepted a position at a daily newspaper in Mississippi. It’s closer to Gail’s three grown children. For that, she hasn’t stopped smiling since I was hired.

The one thing about Bogalusa that stands out to us is the people. Folks are genuinely caring, honest and are willing to help people out in times of need.

There have been a number of firsts for me while working at The Daily News. Those unique experiences include covering the inauguration and swearing in of Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette — the first female mayor in the City’s history  — District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s inauguration and swearing in, the two Bogalusa Blues and Heritage Festivals and covering Magic City Carnival Association, or MCCA’s annual parade through downtown Bogalusa. We’ll have to come down for a visit when MCCA XXXVI rolls on Feb. 6. Last year’s MCCA parade was exciting and lived up to all my expectations. Everybody involved in the presentation definitely pulls out all of the stops to make the event magical.

Surely, I can’t leave out my first drug roundup. I didn’t know what to expect on that one, but that was definitely exciting.

I’ll never forget about doing articles on ESM United Methodist Church’s vegetable garden last year. Never would I have thought one of the articles would be picked up by the Associated Press, but it was to my surprise. I want to thank ESM minister, the Rev. Bill Moon, for taking the time to explain how much work went into the endeavor.

I’ll miss all the chats in the swing with my neighbors Len and Martha Mitchell. Good neighbors are hard to find. We’ll miss the powerful messages delivered by Superior Avenue Baptist Church minister, the Rev. Clay Norwood.

While I’m on the subject, there are simply too many people to thank in Washington Parish and Bogalusa for making our short stay enjoyable, but I’ll attempt to do so. If I happen to leave anybody out, please don’t take it personally.

Teddy Drummond helped us move in and out of both residences while we were here. Besides those instances, he literally went out of his way to help us any time he could. For that we will always be grateful.

Within the city, Perrette, Public Works Director James Hall, BPD Chief Joe Culpepper and Maj. Edward Gomez were invaluable in their assistance. Thanks to BFD Chief Richard Moody, BHS junior high principal Eric Greely and administrative assistant Robin Day. I know I bent Perrette’s ear far too many times asking questions, but she was always polite and understanding. I believe Bogalusa will be better off down the road with her administration in charge.

I regard Bogalusa Help Center President Gene Hayman as a friend. His intentions of helping everyone are genuine. The world is a better place because of him and what he represents.

Bogalusa High School ROTC 1st Sgt. Jack Rogers, Col. Gavin Guidry and LSU AgCenter Director Henry Harrison always made things interesting.

Around the parish, Franklinton Mayor Wayne Fleming, Washington Parish President Richard Thomas, Parish Council Chairman Mike Fussell, and Parish Public Works Director Leo Lucchesi all took time from their busy schedules to assist me. Some of those parish meetings became really involved, but everybody was more than patient.  I can’t leave out Sheriff Randy Seal and Chief Deputy Mike Haley. Washington Parish is in good hands with these two. Or Washington Parish Economic Development Foundation Director Ryan Seal, or Parish Assessor Jimbo Stevenson. I’m certain we’ll see you at a boxing match.

Justin Schuver and Chris Kinkaid, it’s been fun working with you guys. It’s been real.

Thank you all. We’ll see everybody down the road.

Randy Hammons is a staff writer with the Daily News. He can be reached by calling 985-732-2565 or by email at randy.hammons@bogalusadailynews.com.