Sometimes when you least expect it, someone or something reminds you what is near and dear to your heart. For me, that happened a few weeks back when an old friend and former boss reminded me that my passion was writing and photography. To be more precise, covering the local news for Knox County and my little corner called Camden.

For those who don't recognize the name, if you had a child that participated in sports in the area between 2004 and 2008, I most likely either took their picture or wrote about them in a sports story. I began my news career under the tutelage of then Sports Editor Joe Cyr at The Courier-Gazette and by 2006 I had moved to Waldo County as the sports editor for the Republican Journal and the Waldo Independent. Fast forward to 2013, here I am back at Courier Publications doing what I love.

This time around I'm going to try my hand at everyday news and if by chance I get to cover a game or two, well, even better. My focus or “beat” as we say in the newspaper business will be Rockport, Appleton and Hope. Don't be surprised if you see me around Camden and Lincolnville as well at times, checking in with old friends and new neighbors. I am a native, born and bred in Camden and it feels great to be home again, in more ways than one.

My earliest memories of living on Riverside Park and the draining of Megunticook River brings me back to a simpler time. A time when you only needed to dial the 6 in 236 and Anna Libby's Takeout and the KOA Campground were my favorite places to stop and get a cold drink or an ice cream. Bilbo Baggins for some fried chicken before going to watch a men's league softball game at Tibbett's Field or playing pick-up football games on the front lawn of the Tannery. These are what I remember most about growing up Camden.

The days when the YMCA was on Chestnut Street and the best french fries in town were next door at Yorky's Steak House. Nash's Market, Drawbridge's Store, Raggle Taggle Toys, Ferrari's Pizza the list goes on and on. Stopping in with my dad to see Mr. Bailey at Hodgmen's Shoes for new school shoes then to the Jones boys' (when they were above Cappy's) for a haircut. In my mind it didn't get much better than that. Nobody from out of town could understand what made it so special. For me, it was always the people, the places and things that made this town a great place to grow up. A town where you graduated with a majority of the people you started out with and all of the parents knew who you were and who you belonged to.

Now to be working for The Camden Herald makes me feel like I've come full circle. I have returned to a great bunch of people, some I had worked with before and some that are new to me. Sometimes its funny how life runs parallel on two different plains, I have come home to Camden and to Courier Publications and in both cases, I look forward to catching up with some old friends and making some new ones along the way.

Dwight Collins is a reporter for Courier Publications and can be reached by calling 236-8511 or at dcollins@courierpublicationsllc.com.