Good Morning: A few of my favorite stories from 2021

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley / Herald Democrat

It is really hard to believe that we are less than two weeks from the beginning of a whole new year. Where did 2021 go? 

Every year I get to spend some time writing about people and places that interest me or excite me. 

This year one of the stories that stands out was about the Perry family who suffered with COVID-19.

Marcy Perry and I went to high school together, and I was so very sad to hear that she had lost her brother to COVID-19. Then when we started talking about it, I heard about the fight that it took for her and her father to survive it too.

I was happy to get to share the story of that fight with our readers. I spent so many days reporting on the damage that the virus was doing here locally, and it sure was nice to get to write about someone who recovered and continues to recover.

But, that is not all.

In May, I was excited to get to tell our readers about Sandye Brown and all of the work she has been doing for decades to help achieve justice for victims at the Grayson County District Attorney's Office. Trial coverage generally allows readers to get to know the attorneys who do good work over there and it was nice to get to introduce some of the people who help behind the scenes.

I hope to get to introduce a few more of those folks in the future. 

Speaking of interesting and important women, I was very happy in April to be able to write a feature about Judge Carol Siebman who has spent more than two decades serving the people of Grayson County in the County Court-at-Law 2 spot. 

Sadly, one of the stories I wrote this year was a good bye story to my favorite hamburger joint.

The Lit'l Store, which was less than a block from the newspaper for two decades of my working life there, closed in October. I can't tell you how many times I dialed the number to that shop and ordered lunch to take back to eat at my desk or dinner to take home at the end of a long day. 

There are some happenings that mark periods of time in a newsroom. Before and  after the Lit'l Store burned  was one of those things. I remember anticipating their reopening like a kid waiting on the last day of school. Just walking through the doors was a way to let go of the stress from the newspaper at least long enough to grab a soda and my lunch. I know that Delene and Wayne Burroughs were ready to retire, but I don't know that the neighborhood was ready to let them go. 

I look forward to writing more about the interesting people of the county in 2022.

Jerrie Whiteley is the Criminal Justice Editor for the Herald Democrat. She can be reached at JWhiteley@HeraldDemocrat.com.