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Publisher's anniversary brings a question

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By Tony Cotten

As I stroll from business to business or simply shop at a local store, I find it warming that readers notice I’ve been in Oldham County for a year now.

I find myself answering the same question, happily I might add, that stems from my first year as the publisher of The Oldham Era.

“How do you like it?”

Well, I’ve embraced my new home as well as my job. Although my out-of-state move from Indiana to Kentucky felt more like a cliff jump, I must say I like Oldham a great deal.

I began the year by inadvertently introducing myself as a left-wing liberal newspaper publisher in my column about words and Sen. Mitch McConnell. It was a branding that stuck and in mid-summer I was still being identified by, “Oh, you’re that liberal newspaper publisher.”

As summer arrived and Oldham blossomed, I enjoyed the Grand Slam run/walk events and was happy to see a great turnout for Oldham County Day. But I was still laying low, watching the people, my staff and, moreover, trying to get a better feel for the community.

LLike many Oldham County fans, I felt huge pride from watching Oldham County’s boys of summer participate in the Little League World Series. I thank the boys, families, and coaches of North Oldham for allowing me to reconnect with baseball through the youthful eyes of their success.

During their run I was busy scouting for new staff. I realized that while I had changed states, what hadn’t changed was the need to find ambitious, idea-driven individuals that wanted to be a part of something they could stake a claim in.

The Oldham Era had stakes available, and by the end of summer I knew we were building more for 2012 than working for 2011, as 2011 was simply a year of assimilation.
 

During the 2011 tour I met Dell and Fred Courtney and was lucky enough to be invited to aid in the promotion of the Crestwood Festival. I had found it odd that other than Oldham County Day, Oldham had no large festivals and

I was glad to lend the help of The Era when asked to be a partner of the Crestwood Festival.

The Crestwood Festival was a fun event and one I am looking forward to in 2012. Shortly after the festival’s conclusion it seemed summer was closing, but events continued.

Tablescapes, an event The Era planned with the Oldham County Chamber, came off very well and I was truly inspired by the amount of support and the people that recognized how many more great events could be developed in Oldham like Tablescapes. I hope in 2012 we bring some of these ideas to fruition.

However, the thing that I like the most about my first year in Oldham has been the people. Although it seems Kentucky might share more in common with the “show-me-state” of Missouri by the wait-and-see reservations I encountered among those that have been watching The Era and myself, I understand the importance of waiting for people to prove themselves.

I hope I have proven that I am here to stay and that, with the help of The Era staff, I will provide Oldham County with a newspaper that helps the community by providing a product that supports, voices, and portrays Oldham County as the best county in Kentucky.

And to the individuals who stole my bicycle minutes before my race this past Saturday in La Grange, simply place it where you found it and all will be forgiven.

Tony Cotten is publisher of The Oldham Era. He can be reached at 222-7183. The views in this column are those of the writer.

UPDATE: Cotten's bicycle has been returned by Donald Ross of La Grange. Ross confronted the person(s) who walked away with the bike (as described by witnesses) and delivered it to The Era's office on Wednesday.