It is hard for me to believe, but I have been with the Times-Journal for seven months now.

In the time that I have been working here, I have met, interviewed and befriended people throughout the county that I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.

Along with the many people I have met through working at the T-J, I have also had opportunities to go to several events in the area.

The latest, of course, was Boom Days. I have never been to Boom Days before, and after seeing how massive the festival was, I was convinced that I had been living under a rock.

My first Boom Days experience was enjoyable for a number of reasons.

First, I got to meet and talk to people from all walks of life.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of my first Boom Days experience was watching all of the city employees, workers, volunteers and festivalgoers come together over good fun, good company, good music and good food, to celebrate this town’s heritage.

Being a part of that, and having the opportunity to see people celebrate the pride they have for this area, was what made Boom Days 2017 so memorable for me.

Maybe I was living under a rock, or maybe it took working at the local paper to open my eyes to all the things that go on around this small, yet lively area.

Either way, I’m thankful for the opportunities this place gives me, and I’m thankful for the wonderful people who work countless hours to keep Fort Payne thriving.

We live in a beautiful area, and it’s hard for me to believe that I have lived in DeKalb County all my life and have yet to see what all it has to offer. I am constantly looking forward to my next first experience, but in the meantime, I’ll be counting down to Boom Days 2018.

Staff Writer Kayla Beaty can be reached at

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