By Carolyn Bahm
I’m a small-town woman from southern Mississippi, so Bartlett looks like a big and interesting place to me. But your bustle is already starting to feel like home sweet home when I get into the office.
I started this week as the new editor of the Bartlett Express, and I’m enjoying meeting business owners, city officials, the new school board, police officers, and residents. I want to learn what’s important to Bartlett and give you the newspaper you need — with features that celebrate your quirks and successes, and news stories that explain what makes Bartlett tick.
Because you’ve all been so welcoming to me, I wanted to give you a proper introduction to the new person behind the newspaper ink.
I’ve been writing since my college days at Ole Miss, where I enrolled in 1979 and majored in journalism. Since then, I’ve worked at weekly papers, daily papers, one university, a trade magazine publishing company where I edited a magazine and three books, FedEx, and an international consulting company with a local office serving the Navy base in Millington. I tend to put down roots when I come on board, so look for me to stick around.
I read pretty much all the time, mostly science fiction and young adult novels, but many other genres as well. I listen to podcasts on long car drives and overdose on comedy specials on NetFlix. I knit and crochet, and sometimes I blog. I used to be a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and I’ve done my share of freezing cold cookie booths, as well as chilly or sun-blistered soccer mom stints in the bleachers. When I vote, my husband and I cancel each other out because we have such different views, but we’re okay with that. I try diets and give up on them before stubbornly trying again. I’m silly when I can’t help it, serious when I have to be, and I’m kind and laugh a lot. My family loves to call me a nerd. I’m 52, an only child, married, and mother of two daughters, ages 23 and 16.
My mom, a retired nurse, lived with my family for 16 years before we were no longer able to take care of her growing dementia, and she’s now safely cared for in a Gallaway nursing home. It’s sad to see her so diminished, but she has always had a firecracker spirit, and it’s still there, although dimmer. And as I get older, I find myself recognizing bits of her in my life more and more. The last few years with her at home were hard, but I have a greater appreciation for just how tough she is and a bigger compassion for people who care for aging and sick relatives.
That’s probably enough for now, right?
You’ll get to know me more as I write, edit, and snap photos for Bartlett, and I hope you call and email me often with requests for stories. You will probably find that my defining characteristic is curiosity. So please satisfy my curiosity about “all things Bartlett.” Call me, maybe.