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Progress toward the future

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
I hope you enjoyed reading our special "Progress" edition on May 29.
It took a lot of hard work from several sources to put it together and once it was printed and the papers were put in the racks, we were all very pleased with our accomplishments.
Since this edition was the largest issue of the year, it gave us an opportunity to feature a variety of topics here in Madison County and it's given us some ideas for future issues.
I enjoyed doing the story of Ruth Balch and meeting this fascinating 95-year-old women. She had a lot to say and I could have sat in her living room for hours just to hear her talk.
The story about Reynolds Brothers Merchandise was a lot of fun. When I told my mother-in-law that I was writing a story about this business, she told me that her father had worked there for a while. She was born and reared in the Toney area.
Rep. Sue Schmitz, whose grandfather opened the business, called me to tell me how much she appreciated the coverage.
After years of neglect, I'm glad to see that the Clay-Nix home in downtown Madison will be restored and turned into a unique business that will feature period dining rooms and beautiful china. Robin Brewer has taken what could have been an eyesore due to neglect, and turned it into a beautiful addition to the historic area.
If you want to learn more about the history of Madison, you may want to purchase the CD by John P. Rankin and Percy Keel. It is huge and there are a lot of neat things to read.
I want to say thanks to Angie Hood for all of the hard work she did in writing several stories for Progress. She's written numerous stories for the paper over the years and never said "no" to any suggestions we gave her.
Angie mentioned that Mary Hoogwerf (who was featured in Progress) got teary-eyed when she saw the story. I'm glad it meant a lot to her to have it done.
We've heard nothing but praise for Progress 2002 and to mention that the paper was recently named Alabama's Most Improved Small Weekly newspaper in this special issue added to its success.
Our publisher suggested we continue in our efforts to do feature stories of unique individuals and businesses in our area even though Progress is over. It's a wonderful idea and I'd like to ask our readers if they know of something or someone who we could do a feature story on or about – give us a call.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that we'd like to reach out to our neighbors in Madison County and expand the contents of our paper with the things that are going in the Harvest, Monrovia and Toney areas.
A few residents in those areas have mentioned several good story ideas that we've already marked down on our calendars to do.
Even though "Progress 2002" is over, we're progressing to the next step in our efforts to improve what's become a wonderful addition to our community – Madison County Record.

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