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Getting to know each other

had my first appearance in The Farmville Herald Oct. 3, 1997. My siblings and I, triplets, posed for a front page photo on a pile of Beanie Babies that were gifted to my mother while she was in the hospital. We were teeny-tiny and just under five months old.

I’ve always been told by family members that this was the first ever front page of The Herald to be published in color. It’s not hard to see why. In the photo, our trio appear half-buried in the pile of colorful stuffed animals. There’s a zoo spread out around us: a cheetah, a zebra, a piglet or two. The collection amounted to 45 in all.

The article was titled, “I Dream of Beanies.”

The photo has hung in our family’s living room for over two decades. Since then, I have grown up calling Farmville home. The close-knit community helped to raise me.

After graduating from Cumberland County High School, I chose to attend the University of Virginia (UVA) in the fall of 2015. I remember being excited to go to college but scared about trying to pick a major and prepare for the future. I had many interests but am also famously indecisive. However, an introductory class on creative writing rekindled my childhood passion for storytelling.

During my second semester at UVA I applied and was accepted into the University’s Area Program in Literary Prose (APLP). In the program, I took many courses on writing, both fiction and nonfiction, and enjoyed classes on subjects such as journalism and podcast producing. I also met some amazing authors that have written some truly incredible work. At the end of the program I completed my thesis and published my first short story in the University of Alabama’s Call Me {Stranger} magazine.

In May 2019 I received a degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. I returned to Farmville to wait tables and try to decide on my next big move. In August, I was refilling a glass of soda when a customer informed me of an opening at The Farmville Herald.

I am truly thrilled to be welcomed to the incredible team here at The Herald. There is something wonderful in being able to write about your community. Farmville and its surrounding counties are home to countless people that work every single day to build up our neighborhoods, schools and businesses. We grow and evolve each day. I hope to evolve too, and will make it my goal to become a better reporter with every article that I write and every photo that I take.

Alexa Massey is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Alexa.Massey@FarmvilleHerald.com.