My name is... Nope. Too bland.

Introducing... You gotta be kidding me.

Hi! My name is. (wikki wikki record scratch)... Sorry Eminem. Please don’t hurt me.

SHAWN SINGLETON

I sit alone in my four-cornered room staring at... Wow! This stay-at-home order is really starting to get to me. 

1990s, hip-hop music references aside, I traded the mountains of East Tennessee and the Morristown Citizen-Tribune to return to the Midwest, and I want to thank my former managing editor and assistant editor, John Gullion and Cliff Hightower, respectively, for giving an old, broken-down journalist a second-chance to dust off his skills and get a new lease on life. 

I also want to thank the Tribune’s sports editor, Adam Greene, for getting me back into sportswriting again, as well as the Tribune’s Employee of the Year, Wade Littleton and Robert Moore. You’re all great writers who all made me better, and I will certainly miss you all, even if you won’t miss my really dumb questions.

Though I am new to Lincoln County, I am far from new to the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. I spent several years living in South St. Louis City while writing in Southern Illinois before returning east.

Signs of COVID-19 were everywhere on my drive from Tennessee to Missouri, from $1.39/g gas in Indiana (oh yeah) to people with their facemasks down so they could smoke cigarettes while driving to quarantined houses with what looked to be crime scene tape. Then again, that might have actually been crime scene tape. I did stop in Evansville for the night because of a severe thunderstorm. 

I am an East Coast kid. I grew up about an hour from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in a city called Florence - and I loved it so much that I joined the Marine Corps out of high school.

After military service, I attended the University of South Carolina, where I found a love for sportswriting. Sorry, Mizzou fans, but I cannot be converted to love another team. Tennessee, Ohio State, Oregon, Florida, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech - and even those god-awful Clemson fans have all tried. All have failed. GO COCKS!!!

When I’m heading to an assignment, I’m listening to all sorts of music. I could be listening to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, or Metallica, Alice In Chains and even Marilyn Manson. I’m especially listening to the aforementioned 90s hip-hop referenced earlier.

What I hope to bring to The Lincoln County Journal is the same commitment to ethical journalism I have brought to every newspaper outlet since my freshman year of college in 1996. I want you to know you’re going to get the very best out of me, whether it be our continuing COVID-19 coverage, or sports when there aren’t any sports. I promise to figure out something - because that’s what we do. That’s what we provide for the community.

There will be county fairs to attend. The theaters will reopen, as will Cuivre River State Park. The summer events will eventually happen, as will football in the fall. And I will be there to cover them. 

I just hope my sanity has returned by then - but I doubt it.