No, I didn't get the Camaro or the camera.

After last Thursday's column, several people asked me if I'd ended up with then-Bulletin editor Gene Deason's Camaro and Nikon D-7000 camera. In that column, I explained that I was trying to talk Gene out of both of these possessions, pointing out that he wouldn't need either one in retirement.

The column was the same day as Gene's retirement reception. I thought the 100-plus guests who arrived at the Bulletin were surely there to see me and congratulate me on having generated a column for the first time in several weeks.

Wouldn't you know it, most, if not all ? OK, [begin ital]all[end ital] ? were there to see the retiring silver-haird legislator of the Bulletin.

And lest you think I was totally overlooked ? which I mostly was ? several of the guests that day did comment on my column; one fine lady said she was happy to see that I am getting back in the column business, and she encouraged me to keep 'em coming. A lady of refined and most exquisite tastes, obviously.

And most of you no doubt are aware that the Bulletin is without another veteran staffer, that being C.C. Fulton, who is quasi-retiring and headed back to San Angelo, or “Angelo,” as many refer to that city. I never heard C.C. call it Angelo.

Speaking of the names of cities, why do people pronounce it Santee Anna, when it's clearly written Santa Anna? In my 11 years here, I have refused to refer to that town as Santee.

I'm hearing talk that one of the courthouse offices may be organizing a reception for C.C. soon. She waren't no stranger to the courthouse, having covered the Brown County Commissioners Court for the past several years.

That's a nice thing for them to do. C.C. will appreciate it.

***

“What on earth is the Bulletin going to do without Gene Deason and C.C. Fulton?”

That question, or something close, was posed to me recently by one James Diller (not his real name). He was actually repeating a question that one of his relatives had posed via text.

“We're going to do the best we can,” I replied.

Diller immediately texted my response back to his relative.

Diller went on to say his relative had expressed regret at not having told Gene and C.C. While they worked at the Bulletin how much she appreciated them.

“It's not too late,” I replied, assuring Diller that he could have his relative send them texts of appreciation.

***

I am endeavoring to pick up some of the contacts and beats that usually fell in the provinces of the two departed Bulletin staffers. I have already had a couple of opportunities to do this, having had some contact with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Brown County and the Lyric Theatre.

For various reasons, various people at the Bulletin end up with various names and numbers in their Rolodexes and it's just sort of a natural progression, and we sort of adopt one another, although it's not a legal or binding contract. Nor is it exclusive.

***

I enjoy people most of the time, although I'm not much on making small talk and playing verbal grab-butt. I enjoy getting to know them in the capacity of my work. I like hearing people's stories and backgrounds ? especially newcomers. How'd you get here? What brought you here?

I'm still a newcomer myself, but I almost feel like an actual settler when I ask people about themselves.

If you ask me, Wife or our three yoots “where are y'all from,” that's hard to answer. I was born in Lexington, Ky., but that's not really what I call my hometown. Wife is from the Niagara Falls area of western New York ? North Tanawanda, to be specific.

My deepest ties are with the north Texas town of Wichita Falls, but that may change: My dad left us in 2009; my sister and brother-in-law are about to become empty nesters and may move away; and if there is no other family remaining there, my mom may join us in Brownwood.

It will seem strange to have no more ties with the city that has been such a part of my life.

None of our yoots were born in Brownwood, but this is the closest to a hometown they have. From the eldest to the youngest, they were born in Temple, Texas; Peoria, Ill.; and Pekin, Ill. The Illinois-born yoots will probably never set another foot in the cities of their birth, and our Texan might not, either.

When they go away to college, will each one of our yoots consider him/herself to be “from” Brownwood, and will he/she ever return? To visit? To live?

How about when we're traveling through or visiting another city, and someone asks us “where are y'all from?” I'm not sure if we can legally say we're from Brownwood. We usually say something like “we live in Brownwood but we're not from there.”

We may not really be from here, but many significant events have occurred. Our two male yoots play football here. Our female yoot began her musical career here. Wife got a master's degree here ? well, at Tarleton to be specific, but it was while living here. And I, your humble correspondent, learned to juggle cats.