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Patty Leon: As one door closes, another one opens
Patty Leon new

Patty Leon

Columnist

This week marks my 16th anniversary working for the Coastal Courier and also marks my last week here. Unlike last year, where I went away for a week before being called back when Dee McClelland left, this departure is for good.

I have accepted a job opportunity in Chattanooga with Brewer Media. It is a family- owned media company that manages four local radio stations in the city. I’m excited to start this new chapter in my life, but I’m saddened to leave a job I completely enjoyed.

There are countless people I want to thank. But I know that if I try, it would take too many pages to fill and inevitably I might leave someone out by accident.

I do wish to recognize my current work colleagues: Jeff Whitten, Pat Donahue, Addie Carpenter, Eliese Bowles, Leslye Granger, Jan Melton, Mark Swendra and John Hunt. And I want to thank Mr. Charles H. Morris and Joe McGlamery for all the opportunities they extended to me.

I started at the Courier as a receptionist and was mentored and taught everything by all the great people who worked there before, and some who still do. I worked hard each day and grew as a writer, reporter, magazine editor, sports writer, story-teller, photographer and all-around journalist.

I will really miss everyone. The folks in Liberty County and the newspaper are all like family to me. I was new to the area when I first started at the Courier in 2006. But the staff and the community welcomed me with open arms and true Southern Hospitality (and for some, a true taste of Southern Sassiness, Bless Your Hearts).

I had the wonderful opportunity to share the stories of so many of our talented athletes. Got to cover their high school careers and follow their successes in college and some even further into their professional careers. And let me say, WOW, because I don’t think everyone realizes just how many professional athletes are from our little hometown. It’s amazing to see how many of them have now come full circle with children of their own and coaching the next generation of incredible athletes.

I had many adventures as a writer for Liberty Life Magazine. I got to see and travel to locations I would have never seen otherwise. I met some interesting and great people along the way, and I will treasure those memories forever.

I got to hang out at all the community events with all the movers and the shakers who truly give their all to make Liberty County a great place to live and work. These great folks were at every community event, volunteering their services, time and efforts to make the community better.

I got to explore all the interesting and historical places within the county and help share the history with anyone who would listen. Of course, I also got to report on many things that weren’t necessarily positive — the crimes, murder cases, fires, wrecks, governmental shenanigans and so on. But that was part of the job, and I wasn’t afraid to be a watchdog for our community and report things as they occurred.

Needless to say, I probably hacked off a few people along the way. You’ll know who they are. Just see who is celebrating my departure. But again, it was part of the job, and I think I did my job well.

My final day at the Courier is this Friday. During my off-hours I plan to start blogging again, especially with updates regarding House of Prayer. I truly enjoy sharing various stories, adventures and recipes on my Facebook pages and look forward to adding new content. If you are interested in keeping up with my shenanigans, feel free to follow me.

My personal email is Pattyjane65@aol.com. Most of you have my cellphone number already, so feel free to give me a call anytime you wish.

Until then, I’ll see you later, and I love you all.

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