Thank you for letting me tell your stories

Published 7:33 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

In the 15 months since I was hired here in Vicksburg, I have written thousands of words for The Vicksburg Post.

I have covered football games and graduations. I have sat down with women and heard their breast cancer stories. I have covered and photographed police chief Milton Moore consoling a mother as she found out her son had been murdered.

The nature of being a journalist is that every time something big happens in town, whether it is a moment of great joy or a devastating event like a fire, we are there on the sidelines watching. We typically aren’t participating or sharing in the joy or sorrow, but we are there interviewing people, taking videos and working to tell the story.

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I am, and always have been, at heart a storyteller. That is why I entered journalism. Through written words, photos and video I am able to tell the story of the community where I live.

Since moving here, I have truly enjoyed telling the stories of Vicksburg and the people who live here. Some of the stories have been easy to write with the words flowing without a thought. Some have been hard and emotionally taxing as I listened to people talk about some of the worst moments of their lives.

Of the thousands of words I have written here, none has been harder than this one: Goodbye.

Today marks my last day at The Vicksburg Post. I have accepted a new position and will be moving to New York in the coming weeks.

Before I came here, Mississippi had never been in the plans. I had lived in Georgia, Florida and Louisiana growing up, but had no ties to Mississippi.

I worked for a smaller paper owned by the same company as The Post in Georgia and originally went and talked to my boss about an opening with the company in North Carolina.

That evening he called me and said he remembered there was an opening in Vicksburg and thought it would be the best move for my career. I hemmed and hawed because North Carolina was my preferred place to live, but ultimately I decided to trust him and came to interview in Vicksburg and then took the job.

Looking back, I am very glad he made that call to me that night. The job has been great, but my time here has been so much more than that.

Since I moved here I have made some of the closest friends I have ever had. Moving is hard (I have done it too many times to not know that is true) and friends are easy to lose, but you can bet I am going to do everything in my power to make sure we stay close.

I got to go hunting for the first time. I didn’t get a deer, but it is something I wanted to do for years and it was a great day in the woods. I might be moving, but I hope to cash in the open invite to come back and try to get that big buck.

I have had some of the best co-workers anyone could ever ask for. I found a group to play board games with, something I hadn’t found since college.

During my time in Vicksburg, I have met some of the best, most dedicated and friendliest people I have ever come across.

I am going to miss this place. Thank you for letting me become a part of your community and giving me a chance to tell your stories.


Brandon O’Connor is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at