Farewell, Rocky Mount

Rocky Mount
A CSX train moves through downtown Rocky Mount on Friday as seen from the roof of the Davis Furniture building.  

It's been real, Rocky Mount. Just over a year ago, after being a stringer at The Gaston Gazette for a year, I moved to the little crossroads in Eastern North Carolina to be one of two staff photographers at the Rocky Mount Telegram.

It feels like that year has gone by in a flash.

But a lot has changed in that time. I've learned some hard lessons, I've won a few awards, I've enjoyed the freedom of having a nice apartment to myself, and I've continued to stretch my creativity.

All things considered, I am much better for the experience. The Telegram has been a great place to work, and I have nothing but kind words about the company and my former co-workers.

But I want to advance my career, make enough money to be independent and financial stable, and live in a place close to friends and the activities I enjoy.

Rocky Mount was not such a place, so when a staff job opened up a few weeks ago at The Gazette I looked into it. A few weeks later and I'm back in Gastonia and looking for a good apartment.

It's been a whirlwind of activity. I put in my two week notice at the Telegram, and our other photographer took a planned vacation while I was still there. Gobs of overtime and nary a day off before my last day on Monday, then packing and a drive on Tuesday before my first day at The Gazette today (Wednesday).

And I still have to find an apartment and actually move in the next week or two.

I'm busier than a one armed man trying to hang wallpaper!

In the long run, all the hassles of moving will be worth it, though. I'll be picking up mountain biking and hiking on a regular basis, and making trips to see friends in the Western part of the state now that I live much closer.

I also have a nifty new Canon ID Mark IV and a set of brand new lenses to use. I'm not one to obsess over gear, but this is probably--no, this is the first time I've been equipped with current state of the art gear that hasn't been abused by previous users.

In all honesty, though, a Mark IV isn't that much different than the Mark II bodies I've been using. It performs better in every possible way, especially in low light, but when the light is good there isn't much difference between the two--except for that video thing.

That's a game changer. Good bye crappy handicams, hello 1080p HD video. I'm sure I'll have fun with that.

I'm gonna' stop there and continue my apartment search online. Lots to do...

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