The end

October 29, 2021

36  comments

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 AL.com 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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  1. Say it’s not so! I was not at work due to illness and spent the afternoon on my tablet and started reading your back articles. I was reading about Lois lane leaving her mommy and your young son crying when I stopped for a bit. When l came back, I discovered the news. I bought a Birmingham news when they could still be found for your article and the sports section. The same reason I buy a Southern Living, to read Rick Bragg. And was thinking to myself why oh why had I not bought a can of Sea Glass and painted something that lovely color of the Gulf? I will miss your take on life in the South and was so looking forward to following the wedding of Harrison and his girl. God bless you!

    1. Anne, thank you so much for this comment. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever heard from you, but I’m so glad you found me! It’s not the end of the blog — I couldn’t leave my dear readers hanging with no wedding news! Keep up with me here, and I’ll let you know what’s next. Thank you so much for the kindness, and God bless you as well.

  2. Sweet friend, I will miss the opportunity of staying connected with you but can’t wait to see what is ahead. Hope to be down your way soon.

    1. Do let me know when you are here. I’ll still be around on the blog, so check in every now and then!

  3. Excited for you! Glad you will continue the blog; it’s where I read your articles/columns.

    And welcome to Texas, even tho you are only driving through! On your return drive back, may I suggest making your way through the central pat of the state, down to San Antonio and over to Houston on I-10? So much neat stuff to see, so much good food to eat! I’ll gladly point you in the right direction for the best TexMex in Houston. And, hopefully we will be celebrating a World Series victory, too!

    1. Thank you very much my dear. things that are scary are sometimes just the thing we need. Love to you and your Bob!

    1. My pleasure Marcus! And now I’ll have a little more time to visit you every now and then if you can stand it!

    1. Thank you Hope. You were with me from the beginning of the blog days and how your business has grown! We’re in Albuquerque today and a hot air balloon flew right past our hotel window. It’s a fun trip so far!

    1. Thanks, but once you start putting your thoughts into written word it’s hard to stop. The stories will surely keep coming in one form or the other. – all the best to you!

  4. So glad you’re still going to continue with your talent. You are like the modern Erma Bombeck…always making us chuckle & always putting a smile on our face. When is the big day coming up for the wedding? Enjoy your trip to Vegas, I’m SURE there will be a story or two of the things you’ll see & do.

    1. Hi Linda. The wedding is coming up this winter, and I’ll be sure to share it on the blog. Thanks for the kind words. Vegas awaits!

  5. I will be looking forward to all the new adventures in your life! It has been such a joy to read all your great columns and the books, and especially find a new Phi Mu sister!!! Happy and safe travels.

    1. Oh Roxanne! One of my dearest readers I’ve never met in person! Thank you so much for all the support over the years, and don’t give up . . . we’ll be sure to meet one of these days!

  6. I applaud you for knowing when it is time to do something different. I marveled at how you came up with such interesting, clever, writings each and every week. It is time for projects, not deadlines. I know you will succeed at anything you or Bob ever begin. Enjoy new adventures.

    1. Savan, you are the best! Thank you so much for being an encouragement to me all these years. Grab life while you can, right? You, my traveling friend know that well!

  7. Always enjoy your columns, Leslie Anne. Also enjoyed meeting you on the porch of the restaurant in downtown Fairhope. Please continue to tell your stories and advise us of your peregrinations. Tom McLaughlin

    1. Thanks Alan. And . . . I know! It would have been so much fun! The biggest party of the year is always at The Pig! Have fun.

  8. I am sorry I am so late reading this! I haven’t been getting notices when you post, but I did know from Instagram you were traveling and in Vegas. I know you have had a ton of fun experiences during your travels…I’m so glad you are going to keep your blog so we can all keep up with you! I look forward to hearing what’s next!

    1. Thank you so much Jenna. I’m glad you’re following on Instagram. I post there far more than Facebook these days. Stay tuned!

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