Vicksburg move feels right

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sometimes things just feel right, and Vicksburg feels right to me.

In July 2014, I moved back to my hometown of Natchez after 30 years of living elsewhere. I accepted a job at The Natchez Democrat, where my newspaper career began while an intern in college.

I thought that would be my last move. I’m sure the man upstairs had a good laugh at my thinking that. Apparently, he had other plans for my life. Who am I to argue?

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I’m happy to be here, happy to be at work with the amazingly talented people in our newsroom and other departments at our company. I’m counting on learning much from the staff here, and I hope I’m able to teach a thing or two to the younger staffers, as well.

I appreciate the impressive welcome I’ve received here since starting my new job on Wednesday. I arrived at about 10 a.m. that day and less than three hours later, I was presented with the Chamber’s beautiful welcome basket, which I truly appreciate. I’m still exploring all the goodies inside.

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce is on the ball!

And from the small world department, when I was headed back to the office from that Wednesday Chamber luncheon, a woman stopped me and asked, “Do you have a brother named Bubba?”

I was momentarily stunned. “Yes, that’s my brother’s name,” I told her.

Turns out her brother played ball with mine in Natchez.

That person was Jennie Callaway Smith, who is director of hospitality at Diamond Jacks Casino. It was so nice to see her again after all these years.

Then, just a few minutes after arriving back at the office, I got my first phone call from a reader. Believe it or not, that reader’s first words to me were, “Do you have a brother named Bubba?”

What are the odds?

The caller was Vicksburg resident and Post reader Debbie Smith Freeman, who with her husband, Winky, at one time lived in Natchez. The Freemans met my brother when he was in high school and a football player for the former South Natchez-Adams High School Colonels in the early 1980s.

Still, what are the chances the first two people I would talk with in Vicksburg would know my brother? It was comforting to talk with two such friendly people, people I had a connection with, even if it was a little one. I’ve had several sweet welcome calls and emails, too.

Vickburg seems to have similarities to Natchez, but with distinct advantages, like a booming economy and unlimited opportunity. Vicksburg’s positive self-esteem and enthusiasm are evident. You can feel the aura of optimism from just about everyone you meet, from Vicksburg Warren Schools Superintendent Chad Shealy, who spoke at that Chamber luncheon, to Kevin Roberts, chef at 10 South Rooftop Bar and Grill. (Wow, what a place!)

I can’t wait to get settled and spend some time exploring our city and county and getting to know our readers.

If you have a story idea or suggestion — or simply want to tell me something about the newspaper or Vicksburg you think I need to know — please call me. I truly want to hear from you. My number is 601-636-4545.

Yep, something just feels right about Vicksburg. I’m proud to now call it home.

Jan Griffey is Editor for The Vicksburg Post