Newspaper editors have the gift of instantly falling in love with any community where they get a job.
Of course, I use that word "love" loosely. We enjoy exploring new places and meeting new people. And we're addicted to finding and telling stories. You can get a great story wherever you go and from just about anybody you meet.
I grew up in the Chattahoochee Valley, on the other side of the river, and I left home for college and didn't plan to return for more than a visit. Since then, I've lived in plenty of places and written plenty of columns expressing love for those places. I must not have loved them too much, though, because I left the first chance I got.
About a decade ago, I moved my family to Columbus, which in my childhood had been the big city where we went to the movies and did our Christmas shopping and saw where relatives I never knew were born and lived and died. And my new employer, the Ledger-Enquirer, had been my big city newspaper.
I guessed I loved this place, because you're supposed to love your home, but I wasn't sure I liked it.
There's a big difference, you know. It's like in the movie "Shenandoah" when Jimmy Stewart asks his daughter's suitor if he likes her, and the boy says he loves her, and Jimmy Stewart says, "There's some distance between loving and liking. When you love a woman without liking her the night can be long and cold, and contempt comes up with the sun."
When I got here, the best thing about Columbus compared to other places seemed to be that people knew how to pronounce my name. Other than that, it was just my old home. So we rented a house here instead of buying -- and I planned to find another job in a year.
That was 10 years ago, and we're still here. I had opportunities to leave, and I just couldn't do it.
Two days ago, I was named the executive editor of the Ledger-Enquirer, and I couldn't be happier. I like it and I love it here, and I don't ever want to leave.
For me, contempt doesn't come up with the sun.
That doesn't mean Columbus or the Chattahoochee Valley don't have problems. One reason people decide to settle down in a particular community is because they love it enough to do the hard work of making it even better.
That's where your local newspaper comes in.
At the Ledger-Enquirer, we have a newsroom full of talented journalists who've decided to stay here and make this a better place to live.
And that's where you come in.
What are the biggest problems we face? What fears do you have about your children and their future? Where do you see danger, waste and injustice?
What's the best thing about our area? What should we be celebrating? Who should we be celebrating?
What do you think?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, vice-president and executive editor of the Ledger-Enquirer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org