This post is long overdue, as most of you already know I have left Lexington to move to Washington, DC. Although it was hard to leave my Kentucky home, it’s what’s best for my family and I. I will finally be living with my fiance, and continuing my career as a journalist.
The decision to leave LEX 18 has been one of the most difficult ones I have had to make. Who would have thought a Tennessee girl would have fallen in love with Kentucky? But that’s exactly what happened.
I’ll never forget my first time in Lexington, when I flew here for my interview. I remember our plane coming in for the landing at the Blue Grass Airport — and the first things I saw were Keeneland, white-picket fences, rolling green hills and horses. I knew I was going to like it here.
It started off kind of rocky, the funny looks I got wearing my Tennessee Vols t-shirts. The phone calls from viewers after I mispronounced Versailles (it’s ver-sails in Kentucky, folks), Chinoe (chin-o-way), and Athens (Ay-thens). But it didn’t take long for me to learn the lingo and realize I can’t wear orange here and not expect to get a little (friendly) grief. And it took even less time for Kentuckians to accept me and make me feel at home.
I traveled to the far eastern parts of Kentucky and met some of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I visited Louisville and Cincinnati for stories impacting people in central Kentucky. I covered THE Kentucky Derby three years in a row, and got to witness first hand the most exciting 2 minutes in sports. I was lucky enough to tag along with the Wildcats as they made their way to the National Championship. I covered the mayhem that broke out after they came home, saw the couches burned and the cars torched. I saw communities devastated and families broken after tornadoes ripped through the state. I watched friends, families and strangers come together and help each other out after their lives were turned upside down. I covered high-profile court cases, where families finally got the justice they deserved. I was fortunate to cover happy stories in Kentucky, of real people making a difference in their community.
Even in the darkest of times, my photographer and I were welcomed with open arms. Imagine just learning your loved one had been killed or your home had burned down? Time and time again, Kentuckians graciously opened their doors to me, invited me to sit on their couch and offer me coffee, in the midst of their own grief. They “thank me” after interviews and tell me I’m welcome back anytime. They hug me. But it’s not just me Kentuckians treat this way, it’s everyone. It’s true southern hospitality and genuine kindness. And I will forever be grateful for that.
To my coworkers at LEX-18, I am impressed time and time again with the work that we do. From our award-winning coverage of Derby (have you SEEN the work our crews put into it?!), the day-to-day grind— covering seemingly small stories that make a big impact, to the heart-breaking stories that change lives, I am so proud to be a part of the number one station in Lexington.
Please don’t be strangers…not that it’s possible, as the entire time I’ve lived in Lexington, I’ve never met one of those.