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Unformatted text preview: o answer. And it was a sad drive because I was giving up such a large and rewarding part of my life. The paper and I had grown and matured together; me as an adult, it as a prosperous entity. It had become what any small-town paper should be—a lively observer of current events, a recorder of history, an occasional commentator on politics and social issues. As for me, I was a young man who had blindly and doggedly built something from scratch. I suppose I should've felt my age, but all I wanted to do was find a beach. Then a girl. When I returned to Clanton, I walked into Margaret's office, closed the door, and told her about the sale. She burst into tears, and before long my eyes were moist as well. Her fierce loyalty had always amazed me, and though she, like Miss Callie, worried way too much about my soul, she had grown to love me nonetheless. I explained that the new owners were wonderful people, planned no drastic changes, and had approved her new five-year contract at an increased salary. This made her cry even more. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html Hardy did not cry. By then he had been printing theTimes for almost thirty years. He was moody, cantankerous, drank too much like most pressmen, and if the new owners didn't like him then he'd simply quit and go fishing. He did appreciate the new contract though. As did Davey Bigmouth Bass. He was shocked at the news, but rallied nicely at the idea of earning more money. Baggy was on vacation somewhere out West, with his brother, not his wife. Mr. Ray Noble had been reluctant to agree to another five years' of Baggy's sluggish reporting, and I could not, in good conscience, make him a part of the deal. Baggy was on his own. We had five other employees, and I personally broke the news to each of them. It took all of one afternoon, and when if it was finally over I was drained. I met Harry Rex in the back room at Pepe's and we celebrated with margaritas. I was anxious to leave town and go somewhere, but it would be impossible until the killings stopped. - --- For most of June, the Ruffin professors scrambled back and forth to Clan...
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- Spring '10