In 2006, I started Lakeland Local. At first it was a site to share what I learned about my new hometown. It grew into something more. Dedicated to hyperlocal news, it became my raison d’etre. It was the calling card that allowed me to peek slightly behind the scenes. It helped me find in Lakeland a small world of friends, acquaintances, and some people who merely tolerated my presence.
Lakeland Local became more than mine when friends joined. Billy Townsend, Tom Hagerty, Lorrie Delk Walker, Cat Carter, Darby Critendon-McNamara, Kemp Brinson, Petra Norris, and others contributed to make Lakeland Local special.
When I left Lakeland, Billy Townsend took over. It made perfect sense. For some time his informative and stimulating columns had been the backbone of the site. They continued until Billy joined the political world. His role on the Polk County School board had him focused on improving Polk County schools. It makes perfect sense that his work now appears on his personal site, BillyTownsend.com. I also recommend you buy Seminole Wars for the best of Billy’s work to date.
And so Lakeland Local has lay fallow for a few months. I realized, later than most, that there was no resurrection coming. I’ve a new home — with new friends, acquaintances, and more people who merely tolerate my presence.
Eleven years was more than long enough.