My turn to join in the fun
For the past few weeks I have been getting people across the county to answer questions for our “Getting to Know Your Neighbor” feature in each Saturday’s paper. I have gotten some really great answers and I’ve enjoyed reading each one, so while I was trying to think of something to write for my column this week, I decided to join in on the fun and let our readers get to know a little bit more about me with my own version of “Getting to Know the News Editor of the Franklin County Times.”
Name: Kellie Singleton
Place of employment: Franklin County Times
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: There are a lot of great things about my job such as the fact that I am actually utilizing my college degree that I worked so hard for; I have awesome co-workers who are fun to be around; each day is different and sometimes unexpected; and I meet and interact with a lot of great people. But the best thing about the job I have is that it allows me to have many different experiences that I probably never would have had otherwise, like interviewing the governor, seeing a person reunited with their birth family, hearing an inspirational story from a kid half my age, and just generally getting to be a part of people’s lives, even if it’s just for a brief moment in time.
Q: If you weren’t in your current profession, what would be your ideal job and why?
A: I really have given this a lot of thought, and honestly, my dream job would be to become Dr. Seuss (or, my own version of Dr. Seuss). I would love to write children’s books one day. But if I could choose a more realistic alternate profession for myself, I would be a middle/high school English teacher. I never thought I would want to be a teacher, but, naturally, I love English and I think I would really love to be the kind of crazy, eclectic teacher that gets her students to think outside the box and that really challenges them. AND, as an added bonus, if I was a teacher, I could also be some sort of sponsor and help with the band. Band and color guard were a big part of my high school experience and at Russellville, it was a cool, exciting, fun experience and I would love being part of that again in some way.
Q: If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
A: When she was alive, I would have wanted to trade places with Princess Diana. She was always so elegant and respected, and she was beloved by so many people. Plus, she got to wear a crown, and I think I’d enjoy getting to wear a crown.
Q: If you could sit down to dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
A: I’m quite positive there are a blue billion people I could choose for this question, but I think I would definitely have to choose my grandfather, C.B. “Pie” Seal. He passed away when I was almost four years old, so I only have faint memories of him, but everyone who ever knew my Greatdaddy talks about what a wonderful person he was. I know they’re telling the truth, but I would like to be able to experience that for myself. I’d love to be able to tell him about my life and all the things I’ve accomplished. I’d love to share pictures with him and have him tell me stories like only he could tell. I’d love to get to hear his token laugh and see that smile that lit up his whole face. I’m pretty sure that would be the most priceless dinner I could have just catching up on all that time we lost.
Q: What’s the best present you’ve ever received?
A: I’ve received some pretty fantastic presents in my life, like the new car my grandparents bought me when I turned 16, or the Barbie dream house I got from my parents when I was little, or a handmade stuffed rabbit my dad bought me when he was working in Hartselle when I was a toddler (that I still have). There are many presents I’ve received that meant a lot to me, but I’d have to say the best one was a pair of earrings my husband had custom made just for me. I had been going through a period of time when I thought I would never be able to use my degree and get to actually write for a living. I told David I felt creatively caged up, just like a caged bird. The next day, to cheer me up, he showed me a cartoon he had created about a bird in a cage who eventually gets released and flies around all happy and free. The cartoon itself was a pretty fantastic present, but for Christmas that year, he took the image of that little happy bird and had it made into a pair of earrings. It was one of the most special, heartfelt presents I’ve ever gotten and I wear the earrings all the time.
Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
A: I have a lot of great childhood memories because, thanks to my amazing parents, I had a pretty fantastic childhood. Probably the best memories, though, were times that we all spent together. We took a family vacation to Gulf Shores every year from the time I was about six years old until I was in high school and it was always the highlight of the year. We went to the same restaurants and did the same things (namely competitive putt-putt golf matches), and it was great just to be together as a family.
Q: What do you think of as your greatest accomplishment in life?
A: This may sound hokey, but I think my greatest accomplishment was really learning the meaning of success. I’ve been a perfectionist my whole life. I always made good grades, I was the valedictorian of my senior class, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from UNA, etc., etc. But there came a time when I realized I didn’t have to be the absolute best and brightest in order to be successful. If I was putting the Lord first and following His will for my life, if I was taking care of my husband and spending time with my family and friends, if I were doing the things that really matter, if I enjoyed what I did, if I was truly HAPPY – that is what amounts to success.
Q: If you only had one meal left, what would it be?
A: A huge plate of my Greatmommy’s hog jowl, fried potatoes and onions, my Aunt Lana’s seasoned turnip greens, fresh sweet corn, and a big Sydney’s Sinful Sundae from Outback.
Q: If you won a million dollars, what would be your first purchase?
A: Airline tickets. I don’t know where we’d go, but David and I have a hundred places we want to visit, so I think my first purchase would have to be airline tickets so we could take off on an adventure.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A: As I just said, we have a hundred places we want to go, so it’s hard to pick just one place, but if I had to, I’d probably pick a month-long tour of the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Northern California), Canada and Alaska. I’m fascinated with that whole area and there are tons of things I’d want to do there.
Q: If you were the President of the United States, what would be the first law that you would enact?
A: The first law I would enact would be a MAJOR overhaul of the welfare system. In my opinion, it’s a system that is completely broken. I know people who receive government assistance who also have iPhones and nice cars – things that are nicer than the same things I have worked my tail off to earn through a salary and saved pennies. I don’t think people should be allowed to get something for absolutely nothing. I believe we are raising a generation of people whose arms are permanently extended, palms up, looking for a constant handout. Where’s the pride in working hard to EARN what you have?
Q: If you were in local government, what things would you change in the area?
A: I would focus on three major things: 1) I would start a major campaign to revive the downtown areas and try to make them more like they used to be back in the 50s and 60s when the downtown area was the hub of a city. I would love for these areas in all of our county’s towns to be bustling with businesses, places to eat, neat shops, some small parks, and things that would make it a family-friendly, fun place to spend time and attract people into the area. 2) I would do something about the feral animal population. I’m a big animal lover and it breaks my heart to see so many stray animals that are unwanted, unloved and not cared for. I would want to find a way to set up and fund a legitimate animal shelter in the county and pass some sort of mandatory laws for spaying and neutering pets. 3) I would do absolutely everything in my power to get a Chik-fil-a established somewhere in this county.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Franklin County?
A: My favorite thing about Franklin County is the fact that it continues to surprise me. When I was in high school, I wanted to get as far away from Franklin County as I could get. At the time, I couldn’t imagine living here for the rest of my life and thought anyone who wanted to was out of their minds. But after four years at college, I ended up right back here, and yes, Franklin County has its flaws and yes, there are things that could be changed, but I really do love this area. The people are good, friendly, Southern people. The area is gorgeous – seriously, have you been to The Dismals Canyon or to Bear Creek lately? We have some of the prettiest terrain in the state in my opinion. Like I said, Franklin County does have its flaws, but it also has many attributes that people would see if they just stop and look close enough.
Q: What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
A: I have an unnatural fear of bridges.