Welcome to the world

Published 8:45 am Tuesday, July 19, 2011

There’s nothing in the world that sets all the problems in life on the backburner more than holding a new life in your hands.

The last few weeks here at Roanoke-Chowan Publications have been a whirlwind of activity, all coming at a time that is traditionally slow in our line of work (the weeks surrounding the July 4th holiday).

We had just completed our annual FYI Magazine – a product designed to introduce our little corner of the world to new residents and visitors. We were in the final stages – or as I like to call it in agricultural terms, carrying the last row – of finishing our quarterly “Front Porch Living” magazine, preparing it for the printer in order to hit our distribution date of July 29.

Stack on top of that the normal rush to produce three News-Herald editions per week, a weekly Gates County Index and The Shopper and sprinkle the work involved in publishing our annual special tab for the North Carolina Watermelon Festival and you can see just how busy we’ve been.

I was in need of a distraction from the daily chores of the workplace. Thankfully, the newest addition to the Bryant family provided the relief I was seeking.

Somewhere around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, Laura Grace Bryant entered the world. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 12.4 ounces and measured 19.5 inches in length.

As expected, she is a beautiful baby. She’s a Bryant, she can’t help it….or as my late, great father, Ray Bryant, would always say, “When you got it, you got it!”

Holding that little bundle of joy in my arms for the very first time did my heart a world of good. Laura Grace was exactly what my tired bones and overworked mind were screaming for….a chance to put aside all the worries and stress of the workplace.

I pondered the thought of being the oldest son of the late Ray and Blanche Bryant, the couple that produced Cindy, Calvin and Tommy Bryant, the latter the father of Patrick Bryant, the father of Laura Grace Bryant. Now, with my father’s death, the torch of being the family’s patriarch is passed to me. Thusly, it’s my job to ensure that all the Bryant offspring are one day made aware of the family heritage. Bonding with Laura Grace not long after her birth is the start of that process.

It actually wasn’t until I saw a photo of Laura Grace, sitting securely in a car seat for her first trip home to the family land in Northampton County, that it struck me of who she favored.

While visiting with her in the hospital, I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly whose favor she carried. There wasn’t an overbearing resemblance to either the father, Patrick, or the mother, Jennafer. But those eyes, photographed bright and alert while she sat motionless in that car seat, gave it away. I was staring at my brother, Tommy. She has his eyes, as well as his heart and soul.

Welcome to the world, Laura Grace….be proud of who you are and where you came from and, above all else, carry the Bryant name proudly.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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