Wiggins impact on others paints a vivid picture
Published 12:57 am Monday, December 1, 2003
This past week, for the first time, I truly and completely felt like a newcomer to Brewton. This was a change -- for the most part, I've felt right at home since moving here two months ago. But something happened last Tuesday which made me realize for the first time just how little I know about my new home. That something? Judge Devon Wiggins passed away, leaving behind him a life of service to the community for which he has been remembered fondly all week. And I felt as though I was the only person in town who didn't know Judge Wiggins. He lived in and served the area for so long -- as a businessman, a county commissioner, a judge of probate -- that its seems everyone has a story to tell about him, all of them happy ones.
One of the best things about journalism is the opportunity it affords you to get to know all different sorts of people, learning their stories so you can tell them to others in the pages of your newspaper. Most of the time, you do this in person, face to face, during the course of an interview. In the case of Judge Wiggins, I never got that chance.
But the impact he had on the people around him was such that their stories and remembrances have painted as vivid a picture for me as with any person I've ever written about.
Still, I can't escape the feeling that the stories, as wonderful as they are, are a poor substitute for actually having known the man himself.