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People are what Natchez is all about

If you’re from Natchez or have ever spent much time here, you know, this place is special.

By the numbers, Natchez doesn’t appear all that special. The country has lots of small cities the size of Natchez, even quite a few in the South.

But what makes Natchez special isn’t its size or any other demographics.

Natchez’s specialness is a bit less tangible than simply a number that can be researched from afar, but nonetheless real.

What makes Natchez so special is rare combination of ingredients.

At the most basic level, Natchez is nestled in a beautiful part of the world, featuring one of the most picturesque views of the mighty Mississippi River imaginable.

But the land alone wouldn’t make the place all that special. After all, America is blessed with some spectacular scenes, including a number of amazing national parks filled with natural wonders.

Natchez is most known across the country for its history, most notably its antebellum, plantation-era history.

But viewing only a small segment of Natchez’s history is missing massively interesting decades of time that create the fabric of Natchez.

That fabric is weaved with stories, stories of people coming and people going.

The fiber of Natchez is filled with stories of people raising families, people working and people helping one another.

That is Natchez.

It’s not just the hoopskirts and the white columns; it’s the people of Natchez who make residents fall in love and never want to leave and make visitors want to come back again and again.

In today’s print edition, our staff takes its annual look at exploring some of the hundreds of stories of Natchez’s past, present and future.

Today we publish Profile 2013. Our staff has published an annual Profile section each February since the early 1970s.

This year’s edition explores the stories of a few familiar faces and a number of ones you’ve likely never heard of before.

Have you ever wondered why it seems as if you cannot throw a stick in Natchez and not hit an Eidt or a Kaiser?

We’ll explore the two prolific families’ histories inside Profile.

Other featured articles focus on several aspects of our area’s faith, collective hobbies, universal lessons parents teach children and even bits of our history.

All and all, our staff hopes you enjoy today’s Profile section. Profile wouldn’t be possible without two things — the hard work of Democrat staff members and the sponsorship of area businesses.

Dozens and dozens of local businesses tell their stories through advertising in the section. That advertising makes Profile possible, so we thank each of them for their help.

I personally want to thank each member of our staff for all their hard work. Profile production begins in the fall when stories are assigned and our marketing folks begin visiting with local businesses.

Months later, the final Profile section comes out with a thump on driveways and doorsteps. At more than 120 pages, it makes today’s edition of The Democrat the biggest edition of the year.

Profile is a labor of love for our staff, but also a fun exploration of the community we all call home.

Each year we learn something new about Natchez, and we hope in this year’s section you learn something you didn’t know as well.

We hope you enjoy Profile as much as we enjoyed making it. Let me hear your thoughts about Profile by writing or calling.

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.