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February 20, 2013

Direct Kick: A humbling experience

(Continued)

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

Anyway, after graduation I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so when I attended Sue Bennett, I put “journalism” as my major, and took a news writing course that they offered. Still, it wasn’t what I had planned for the rest of my life.

I soon found out college wasn’t for me, so after one year, I dropped out to decide what I wanted to do, then I would go back to school once I had that figured out. We all see how that turned out.

Soon I found myself working at McDonald’s (I have the distinction of being a member of the first crew ever hired at the first McDonald’s here in London). Meanwhile, I was also playing in a band with hopes of, as Foreigner sang, becoming a “jukebox hero.” We all see how that turned out.

Soon I found myself unemployed and looking for work after quitting McDonald’s. A friend of my sister’s who worked at this newspaper told her they were looking for part-time workers in the press room, inserting newspapers. Yes, I literally started at the lowest rung of the business in 1983.

But I soon worked my way into composition, typesetting ads because I knew how to type and had an art background. From there, I started writing a music review column. Then I moved into sports.

After leaving the Sentinel in early 1990, I did some freelance work for various newspapers while I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Then in late 1993, the Laurel News-Leader had a help wanted ad for an advertising sales position. I came in to see Willie Sawyers for that job, but it had already been filled. But he did have a news reporter job open, so I took that until 1995, when I again moved into sports and have been there ever since. I also delivered newspapers during this time. When Willie sold the News-Leader to Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., the same company that owned this paper, I moved over here with him in 1998 when he took over as publisher.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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