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The year 2003 was a special one for me

By Staff
Nick Johnston, Sports Editor
Take a look at what I wrote last year at this time in this same space:
"If I have it my way, the year 2003 will not involve a move or a goodbye column."
Oh well, so much for that.
Aside from me leaving this newspaper, 2003 was a great one. This past year I became something I've never been, made friendships I always will remember and worked with a cast of characters I will never forget.
First off, the something I've never been: A dad.
Dads out there know there's nothing like being … well, a dad. My son, Drew, is now two months old. He makes going home every night something special and new.
It's amazing how his little smile makes everything that happens elsewhere so non-important.
And I would like to say thank you for all of your thoughts when he had all those problems at birth. Mom and baby are doing just fine, and I love them both very much.
As for the friendships I always will remember:
You have no idea how nice it is to make such good friends while working at a newspaper. Though I likely will never stand on the same sideline, or sit in the same bleachers with you again, just know I have enjoyed every game.
And for you coaches, I could not have asked for a better group to work with. You have made my job so much easier by either just taking a minute to talk with me after a game, or taking a break from your busy school day to talk with me. You've all been great, and I will miss working with you.
As for everybody around here at The Enquirer:
Last week I mentioned you in this column, but I feel there's no way I could thank you enough for being so good to me.
Like I said, I came into the office everyday knowing it was not going to be a struggle with each other. That's important if you want to enjoy your job, and The Enquirer has a good thing going.
Just don't read that last line and come in on a day when we're having computer problems. It gets a little rough those days.
There were other memorable moments in 2003 other than what has happened in my personal life.
I enjoyed following the Hartselle Tigers basketball team from gym to gym as they made their way to the Final Four. It was a team of good character and outstanding athletic ability.
Of course, I can't leave out watching the Lady Tigers softball team winning the state championship. Again, it was a team of good character, led by a coach who would not accept anything but the best. That's what he got … the best.
And there were times like traveling with the Hartselle Hurricane swim team during the summer, getting to know the stories of several area athletes like the Summerford twins in Falkville, and many other things that happened in 2003.
But like the old clich/ goes, everything that's good must come to an end.
This will be my last column for The Enquirer, but you are likely to see me around town. Autumn, Drew and I will live in Hartselle for a little while longer for sure.
So, guess this is it. Hartselle, I've enjoyed it … See you later.