I have left the newspaper business four times previously — since I first felt the calling in seventh grade.
The first time was when I entered Clemson University as a computer engineering student in 1981. My dad had advised that major, given my affinity for calculus, physics and chemistry in high school. Also, it would pay much better than journalism, he said.
Of course I didn’t listen.
By the spring of my freshman year, I was visiting the college newspaper office, asking for assignments. By my senior year, I had long since left engineering and was editor-in-chief of The Tiger. On weekends, I traveled 30 minutes each way to answer sports phones at the Greenville News and wrote feature stories after class for the Anderson Independent-Mail.