A summer spent perfecting writing - Ryan Whelchel

I have completed my stay here at the Clayton News Daily, and it is time to give thanks where thanks are due, and to share my future plans.

In May of this year, the Assistant Managing Editor Bob Paslay called me after I had put in an application. He offered me an internship position that would teach me the ways of reporting and further my journalistic approaches. Though I would have to keep my other job at On the Border to be able to pay for upcoming college tuition and fees, I decided it was a good chance and took it.

On my very first day I wrote an article that would appear in the Weekend edition around Mother's Day, for that was what the article was over. From the very beginning I loved working here, and was able to develop a good relationship with all the other reporters, editors, and page designers. I value my time here because I was able to learn so much in these short months.

I found that writing columns were very fun and mostly easy for me to do, because I can focus my thoughts and opinions over basically whatever I had on my mind.

I did enjoy writing all the articles that I wrote, because I was fortunate enough for everyone that I interviewed they were just as kind as anyone could be. For my Salvation Army story that I wrote I was able to talk with Captains' Curt and Natalie Sayre, who were so very honest about their work and the happiness it brings them, and were willing to answer all my questions that I had. Also for the same story I interviewed Lucy Huie, who is quite possibly the nicest woman I have ever talked to. Not only did we talk about matters that concerned my article, but she saw that I was interested in the artwork that was in her home, and she told me about how her husband had painted them, when he painted them and where. These paintings were just amazing, and she took me to other rooms of the house that showed more brilliant works of art right after one another.

Another woman that was so very kind to me in providing me information and inviting me into her home was Dorothy Brannon. She provided me with information of my story that I was writing over the 60th anniversary of the city of Morrow. Brannon is an outstanding citizen in her community, and if you know her give her a hug.

I've talked with dozens and dozens of people since I have been here, mostly because I have done all the ?Street Talks' since late May. I'd like to say thank you to all those who stopped and talked with me and let me put you in the paper.

During the Street Talk that is also appearing today, a person that I saw recognized from my Lollapalooza column that had run that morning that I interviewed him. It was the first time for me that outside of the office, besides family and friends, that I knew someone had read my column, and he talked about how much he enjoyed it, and it made him wish he went to the concert. That in itself was worth more than a paycheck. Some things in life are rewarding even without a dollar sign tagged to it.

This fall I will continue to attend Georgia State University in Atlanta, while still majoring in journalism. I have not fully decided whether I will major in broadcasting or print, for working at the newspaper has been very enlightening for me. I plan to keep on writing columns for the News Daily as long as they allow me to, and also write for my college newspaper as well, and yes I'm still hanging on at On the Border on weekends.

So in the end, I am very grateful to the Managing Editor Tamara Boatwright and Bob Paslay for giving me this great opportunity. I am also grateful to the other reporters, Ed Brock, Trina Trice, Justin Reedy (now enjoying Seattle), Tim Daly and Dick Joseph (Tai-Chi man). I have learned a lot from everyone on how to go about the business and how to go about life, So thanks to everyone. I will never stop writing; the taste is too strong for me. Every piece is only another sampling of my love that is writing. "My words will be here when I'm gone." n Seether.

Ryan Whelchel, of Jonesboro, has completed his internship at the News Daily and is a rising sophomore at Georgia State University.