Stephen Hurt.jpg

Hello Athens!

It's been quite awhile since I've seen the timeworn image that portrays the waning year as an old man with flowing robe and white beard, and the coming year as a baby in a diaper. Although the caricature sharply contrasts old and new, it fails to recognize the human tendency to review our past and anticipate our future at this time of year—exactly the position I find myself in now.

I was born an “Army brat” and the youngest of four sons. My father was a periodontist and career Army officer, and mother was a homemaker. I believe it was Kris Kristofferson, himself a military brat, who observed, “We served right alongside our parents and yet no one ever saw us.” Serving for me meant living from the east coast to west coast, and many places in between. It also instilled in me an almost insatiable urge to pack up and move every three or four years.

As much as I identify with being raised in a military family, I was also was raised in a newspaper family. My great grandfather was the editor of a large newspaper, and my grandfather published a small town weekly newspaper which employed many family members. In fact, for well over 100 years, an unbroken succession of my relatives have worked as journalists at several locations in this country. Due to the migratory nature of military life, the only true sense of place I developed growing up was my grandparents' house in that small town where we spent extended summer vacations. I could easily walk to the newspaper office where I would spend hours immersed in the energy, activity, and excitement of getting out a newspaper. This is where my passion for reporting news stories emerged.

When I went to college, my fascination with journalism was eventually suppressed by the allure— however impractical—of music. After graduating with a degree in music theory, I worked for a music publishing company for about a year before embarking on an extended period of job-hopping. Through a combination of timing and luck, I began working in various roles in health administration, where I spent the greater part of my career. However, several years before retiring, I also achieved another longstanding ambition by becoming a teacher.

The foregoing life sketch is by way of introducing myself. The future I am looking toward as we begin 2022 is serving as a freelance reporter for the Athens Daily Review. My life has brought me full circle and I am happy to be stepping into that long line of newspapermen and -women of my ancestry.

Writers generally do not like writing about themselves and would much rather tell other people's stories. I live in the country and anticipate most of what I write will include human interest and rural elements, but I may also write “hard” news stories. To that end, if you have a story you think should be told, or know someone else's story you believe should be told, please email me at

stephenhurt@ymail.com for consideration.

Happy 2022!

Trending Video

Recommended for you