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Hello Hartselle, happy to be here

By By Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
Three years on a road that led to Oklahoma has taken me back near my hometown.
Hello Hartselle, happy to be here.
My name is Nick Johnston and I am originally from just a few miles south … Cullman.
A 1999 graduate of Cullman High School, I studied sports more than anything else. Nothing interested me unless a touchdown or grand slam was part of the fun. Perhaps that's why a career in sports journalism was a perfect fit for me.
About three years ago, while attending school at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., I picked up a part-time job at a newspaper in Dickson, Tenn.
Unfortunately, the 50-mile I-40 trek from Nashville to Dickson would nearly suck my SUV's gas tank dry. As far as my salary, it would cover my gas there and back … nothing else.
I was still in school though, so it was not like I had to depend on that job to pay bills.
But I wanted more. I wanted to be a full-time sports writer.
In February 2001, a newspaper in Durant, OK, decided to take a chance on a 19-year old kid with very little experience – me.
In the year to come, I did not disappoint The Durant Daily Democrat, especially in photography.
Like a sponge, I soaked up every ounce of knowledge I could from 80 years of combined journalism experience above me. I studied how they would develop stories like anyone else would study math or history.
As time went on I developed my own writing style and an award-winning eye for photography.
During my year with The Democrat, I married my girlfriend of two years, Autumn.
Actually we celebrated our one-year anniversary July 28th.
Unfortunately my time with The Democrat was coming to an end. Autumn was homesick, and I was getting that way too.
See HERE, B-3

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