There’s no place like home

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Home — now that is a meaningful and powerful word. It can mean something different to every single person. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote that, “Home is the nicest word there is.” Franklin, Va. is where I have the best memories and that translates to home for me.

My family moved to South High Street the summer before starting the second grade at the old Franklin Elementary School on Second Avenue. What a wonderful old building that was and I immediately made fast friends, who continue to be my friends to this day. I grew up sledding down the Baptist Church hill on snow days, going to choir practice and church at Franklin Baptist. I was a girl scout and hung out at the YMCA and Farley’s Foosball. I went to the matinee at Lion’s State Theatre, and bought 45s and albums at Johnny Patton’s. I loved growing up in Franklin.

I graduated from Franklin High School in 1975 and was both a football and basketball cheerleader for the Broncos. My roots are here and my parents are here, so coming home is both a blessing and a comfort. As John Denver sang in one of his hit songs, “Hey, it’s good to be back home again.”

I grew up listening to tree frogs and cicadas, walking to the city park, riding my bicycle from Kingsdale to Hunterdale and once old enough, driving the back roads from Boykins to Windsor (hope I can still remember the way). I knew Franklin then and need to reacquaint myself with the area today.

I have been trying to come home for a while now and this job was the answer to many prayers. I was a newspaper writer for many years at the Ahoskie newspaper and received my degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, way back in 1979, in Communications (writing and editing). For the past 13 years I’ve been living in another favorite place, the Outer Banks. For the past six years I’ve been the Communications Officer for the N.C. Dept. of Transportation’s Ferry Division. A challenging and interesting job, but with my daughter away in college, I longed for old friends, familiar places, my family and home. Now I’m here and it feels like slipping on a comfortable pair of shoes or an old faded pair of jeans.

Many of you might remember me and I can’t wait to reconnect, but for those of you who don’t know me, I’m eager to meet new folks. I am excited to be your managing editor and want to help make this newspaper, the magazine and all special sections we publish the best they can be. I want to bring news and happenings from all over this area to life and make you, the readers, look forward to reading about your community.

I’ll need your help though. Please call me, stop by or send me an email and let me know what you want to see in your hometown paper. Ideas and suggestions are very welcome. I am a hands-on writer. I like to talk to people face to face and I’m a good listener.

I really am a hometown girl, often in my life I’ve waxed nostalgic about what a great place Franklin was to grow up. I always loved the sound of the train going by my parents’ house, as well as the sounds of the paper mill at night — comforting sounds that I associate with home.

I hope to help you develop and create fond memories of Franklin too, just like those I have. In my role as editor, I hope to provide the forum in which to create those memories through news, photos and features. Together we can blend old memories with new and make sure we all feel the nostalgia of home. I’m so happy to be back! Dorothy said it best in the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz”, “there’s no place like home.”

Lucy Minetree Wallace is managing editor of The Tidewater News. She can be reached at