The end

October 29, 2021


Like all good stories, everything in life has a beginning, middle and end, so I’ve decided it’s time to end my weekly newspaper column. It has been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned about an industry I never really planned on joining. The people I’ve met have been fascinating leaders in journalism. They've ushered in new strategies for providing us with information during a time when printed papers are moving towards a digital format.  

I’ve been writing a weekly column for almost 10 years, first in the Gulf Coast Newspapers and then with Alabama Media Group for the Mobile, Birmingham and Huntsville papers. From time to time, I've also appeared in the Syracuse and Grand Rapids papers. It’s been a labor of love and fascination with storytelling and connecting with the people of Alabama and beyond that I will always treasure.  

My story, "Dianne Bentley is a class act" was one of the most shared (non-sports) stories of the entire year on social media. 

My readers have made the experience rewarding, and I truly value each and every one of you. Your emails, online comments and even a few old-fashioned snail-mail letters have been encouraging and always made me smile. Even the grumpy comments were welcome and made me think of all the different opinions we have. (then I gave you a big, “bless his heart” of course!)

My very first column with had my photo close to Harper Lee's. How exciting for a rookie! 

The biggest news I have isn’t that the column is coming to an end, but rather, as good tales go . . . there will be a sequel, one that is sure to involve just as much adventure. I have new opportunities for writing, and I’m already feeling a giant rush of creativity by not being locked down to a weekly schedule.

I've already used my extra free time to begin Ukelele lessons with a group in town. This is my instructor Carl.

My husband Bob, who has been my main encourager and inspiration (“just write about the last time I made you mad, people always love that.”), and I are celebrating this new plot twist by taking a driving trip from Alabama to Las Vegas! If you’ll remember from years past, we have a convention to attend every year, and this year, we were so tired of sitting home with COVID restrictions, we thought it would be fun to drive. I’m writing to you from the road now as I look out on the dry, windy landscape of cows, cotton and windmills in Texas. Roy Rogers is playing, and after we enjoy a big cowboy BBQ lunch in Amarillo, we’ll continue the adventure — as I hope you’ll continue this adventure along with me. 

I hope you stay connected through this blog for big announcements coming soon. Be sure to enter your email address to receive updates when I send out a newsletter every now and then. You can also click the icons at the top of the page to follow me on Instagram (road trip photos coming soon) or Facebook.  And thank you all for your encouragement and support as I have found my joy in writing for you.

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