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My wife and I were applying everywhere for open reporter positions. I mean everywhere. I was fresh out of college having graduated at Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication last May. We are from up north in Washington, the rainy side, and only moved to Utah because of schooling and family. We wanted to locate somewhere around that neck of the woods to be closer to family having lived 14 plus hours away for the past four years. Traveling back and forth with half-day drives and tedious airline flights became weary. It was all worth it to see the Cascades and then Seattle as we landed each December for Christmas. The Pacific Northwest was in our blood.

After scavenging around online for any job that would take us closer to home, we landed on the website of the Lake County Examiner. Where was Lake County? We didn’t know. But we applied with my shallow resume and not-so modest cover letter.

And we got a reply from general manager Tillie Flynn who wanted to phone interview me since a 10-hour drive just might not have been feasible for an interview for a job that I might not even get. As understanding as Tillie was, I expected an answer that I didn’t really want to hear. She was interviewing five more candidates after all.

When I got that fateful call that Saturday afternoon, I was perplexed but mostly flattered. I was a mere fresh-out-of-college person who was heading into the workforce. I didn’t expect to get a job as easy or as quick as that.

But we were ready to pick up all of our things we accumulated over the last three years of marriage and begin again in a small town with little knowledge of the community. For a half day straight I drove a bulky U-Haul truck with a small car towed on back through endless roads and a fierce thunderstorm. Weary from our trip, we finally made it to Lakeview.

Yes, it was as petite and simple as I imagined, but I enjoyed the feel it had. Lakeview is intimate, inviting and welcoming. A night and day difference from the fast-paced Salt Lake City atmosphere we are so used to. The people wave as I drive by. I don’t have to bolt out onto F Street to avoid oncoming traffic, although I’m finding the habit a bit difficult to break. I can look one way and see not one solitary piece of manmade machine or home, which is nice.

It’ll be an adventure for sure and having to fill the reporting shoes of Ryan Bonham will be no easy task. Yes, I don’t have accolades or the experience that many in my position would have. It will be a learning experience, but not just for my occupation, but also for a more simple way of life. I’ll learn to stop, take a deep breath and appreciate what I have in front of me.

All I ask is for patience, understanding and friendliness. I believe I’ve received much of these three in my short time here. I pray I will do my best to serve Lake County as much to my capacity.

— Jimmy Hall

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