Hello, Scotland County.
As most of you already know, I’ve been here five days. I can’t even say I’ve gotten my feet wet yet. Perhaps a toe or two.
But here’s what I already know: I like it here. And I’ve met quite a few folks in these first five days, as well as spoken to quite a few more over the phone — and each one has made me feel welcome, for which I am appreciative.
Scotland County certainly has its fair share of unique places, people and circumstances. What county doesn’t? But there are also some similarities with the other two counties I’ve spent time in — Bladen and Robeson. My overall theory, regardless of where I park my Jeep Wrangler every workday, is this: Let’s fix what’s negative and promote the positives.
I’m thinking both of things will keep us all busy.
So, I mentioned my Jeep. You’ll soon begin to recognize when I’m roaming the county because it’s black and, along each side of the hood are the words SOUTHERN YANKEE. I won’t share who saddled me with that moniker, but I will say that I’ve obviously embraced it and that I am a Yankee by birth but am a southerner by choice. Hope that’s good enough.
Oh, I’m also a lifelong Yankees fan, which some will just have to accept.
One of the first questions I’m being asked by everyone, from “a 50-year subscriber to the Exchange” to a couple of pillars of the county, is whether I plan to move to Scotland County. The answer is probably not — unless there is someone out there who would like to purchase my home in Lumberton, and a cash purchase would be awesome.
So unless that happens, I will be making the 33-mile drive each day down Interstate 95 to Interstate 74 to Exit 185 and into Laurinburg. It’s a really nice drive that gives me plenty of time to think about what I need to do when I get to work in the morning, as well as decompress on my way home each evening. And let me just say this: The incredible landscape that greets me everyday along I-74 almost can’t be beat. The wide open pastures and beautiful ponds and lakes are right out of a travel magazine. Someone should develop it — NOT.
Probably the second most-asked question is whether there will be any changes in the newspaper. The answer is yes. I’m not necessarily looking to put my own stamp on the Exchange, but there are some things that either need to be dumped, added, tweaked or re-created. The goal, of course, is to make the pages of your newspaper better, with words that are spelled correctly and make sense.
But you can help me. I’m open to suggestions. Not every one will see the light of day, but each will be seriously considered. And every now and then, I’ll offer a prize for ideas — or there may even be a contest. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I’d be thrilled if you and your organization or committee or group would start sending me things for our calendar of events or photos for the website and newspaper or even story ideas. I know there are far more things happening out there than we could ever possible know about or get to — but our meager staff has a secret weapon. You. Fill my email and watch what happens.
OK, that’s the Reader’s Digest version about me. If you’d like to know more, please call, stop by or email me anytime (and when you do, the name is Curt … Mr. Vincent is my Dad and “W” is just not funny). I hope to continue my meet-and-greet tour of Scotland County, but most of all I sincerely hope this will be a long, happy and successful relationship between you and I.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-503-3023 or [email protected]