It’s not the brick and mortar

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2023

When I was a little girl, my dad’s law office was right next door. I used to love to play in his office, in and out of his library.

Have you ever had a smell that took you right back to your childhood? I have three. The children’s area at Prentiss Baptist Church where my kindergarten class was, the Prentiss Christian School gym and my dad’s office.

At least once a week when I walk through the doors of the Prentiss Headlight, I catch the faint smell of his office and once again I am six years old. It’s comforting. It’s like a hug from someone you long for. It’s happiness. I will miss that.

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The Prentiss Headlight building is under contract to be sold, and all the reminders of the once bustling office have been removed; the awards taken down and packed away.

The paper has operated in this building for almost a century. Employees have celebrated births of children, weddings, graduations and retirements. They have shared trials, sorrows and heartbreak. Lifelong friendships were built right here on Third Street.

How many reporters have run out of here at the sound of sirens or hearing our officers in need on the scanner.  Life-altering tragedies experienced in our community and many “I remember where I was when…” moments happened right here.

My three children grew up within these walls and many milestones reached and passed. Class projects were completed, football programs assembled and banners painted. I lost both my parents and a brother while in this office.

It’s been a great “gathering” place for many and I would dare say that therapy was provided here weekly.

I can only imagine the stories told in the back room while papers were inserted, and mail sacks packed. Or the many battles that Mrs. Patsy fought…and won.

When I found out the office was for sale it was like a sucker punch. But growing up I was always taught that the church is not the building. It’s her people. And as I locked the door for the last time today (on a Tuesday no less), and the tears flowed, I realized that this brick and mortar is not our paper. The paper is you. It is the touchdowns, the homeruns and the 10-pound bass. It is the church revivals, the honor rolls, the prayer lists and the grand openings.

We would not be here without you, our readers, subscribers and advertisers and for that, we thank you.

The Headlight is not closing. I want to make that very clear. It is going strong and will continue to serve all of Jefferson Davis County as it has since 1906.