(Photo by Stephanie Klein-Davis/Roanoke Times)

After graduation from Floyd County High School in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, I left my rural area to pursue a career as a newspaperman.

Four decades later, I returned to the county after 17 years with daily newspapers, 12 years as a political operative and a decade working a freelance reporter and photographer around the world.

Those 39+ years in journalism and political work brought me back to the area where most of my desires and ambitions were born and I found myself still working in the profession that has dominated most of my life.  I began as a full-time reporter and photographer for my hometown paper at age 15 and now, at age 70, I work with that same paper and the media chain that owns it as a contract reporter and photojournalist.

In addition, I write news about government and politics by a national political news website, produce a hyperlocal news site and own a small web hosting company.

Still, I consider myself a newspaperman and subscribe to legendary Chicago scribe Finley Peter Dunne’s belief that “It is the role of a newspaperman to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”