Thanks for making me feel welcome in Danville

October 07, 2004

Editor's note: Sportswriter Jill Erwin is leaving The Advocate-Messenger to take a position with the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Richmond, Va.

Dear Editor:

Herb Brock may have been right (and that's the only time I'll ever say that). Perhaps it is impossible to "be" Danville if you weren't born here. But I want to thank everyone who has made me feel like I am, in fact, part of this wonderful area.

When I leave here Friday morning for my next station in life, it will be with many tears and much heartache. I have come to love this area and these people as if I had known it and them all of my life. I have made many, many friends here, people I hope will be my friends for the rest of my life.

To the coaches who took the time to work with me when I first got here and barely knew what I was doing, thank you. To the parents who have never stopped letting me know when I've done something right or wrong, thank you. And to each of the athletes who have allowed me to be a part of your lives, your successes and failures, your crowning moments and biggest letdowns, I thank you.


I especially thank sports editor Larry Vaught, who took a chance on an untested young writer and taught me more about life and how to handle situations on and off the job than I ever thought possible.

I never considered The Advocate-Messenger my "first" job, I just considered it my job. I would have had no problem staying here among you all forever. But this is a change I feel I'm ready to make, or at least as ready as I ever will be, and I move on to Richmond, Va., as a better writer and a better person because of all of you.

It's funny, really, how you can arrive for a job interview 10 minutes early in the summer of 1999, walk downtown, look around and think, "What a charming little city," then leave just over five years later, calling it home. Thanks to all of you that made that possible.

You will always have a friend in Richmond.

Jill Erwin


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