One more time for all time
I’ve only lived two places in my life.
I suppose you could say three, but my hometown of Blakely, Georgia wasn’t my hometown really.
We actually lived closer to Columbia, Alabama, so that’s what I consider home.
I lived there for 18 years, all the way until I left home to come here, to Troy.
That was in August of 2006 when I left home to get my college education in Troy, much as my aunt, uncle and sister had done before me.
Four years later, I have a college degree from Troy and a lifetime of memories of this place.
But, the time has come for me to make my third home.
This is my final column for The Messenger, as I will be moving to Decatur in the next week or so to begin work for The Decatur Daily.
Saying goodbye is never easy, and this is no exception.
Contrary to popular belief, Troy holds a very special place in my heart that is unlike any other.
I’ve had bad times and good times, and I’ve learned things, both from others and from my own mistakes, and it is these experiences I’ve had in Troy that have helped to shape me as I take this next step in life.
I’ve also been privileged enough to cover sports and news in a great area for both.
The people have been friendly, and the job has never been dull, whether it was here at The Messenger or in my previous journalistic experience writing for the Tropolitan.
I can still remember my first interview as a journalist back in August of ’06 with Troy head volleyball coach Sonny Kirkpatrick.
Since then, I’ve gone on to cover plenty of Troy sports, as well as some high school and recreation events as well.
I’ve been witness to Troy’s four straight Sun Belt titles, a Junior Dixie Boys World Series title, Pike Liberal’s second straight AISA football championship and a regular season Sun Belt title for Trojan basketball.
These were all great moments I was privileged to be a part of.
But, more importantly, I’ve met my future wife here, as well as my likely best man in my wedding and several groomsmen.
You know, the kinds of bonds that you only come across once in a lifetime in a place you were meant to be.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you.
Thank you to the readers and to the athletes, coaches and administrators I’ve worked with over the last four years. But also, thank you to this place.
I’ve had my ups and downs here, but I wouldn’t do a single thing differently.
I have no regrets.
Nick Duke was a reporter for The Messenger.
Nick will be starting work as a copy editor for The Decatur Daily Sept. 20.