ALBANY — Alan Mauldin has a unique take on journalism as a profession.
“To borrow from the opening line of the classic movie ‘Goodfellas’: ‘As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer,’” the Cuthbert native and veteran reporter said.
Mauldin started writing for southwest Georgia newspapers in 1993, with stops in Camilla, Moultrie, Albany, Thomasville, back to Moultire and, as of last week, back at The Albany Herald. Mauldin established a reputation as a hard-nosed but fair reporter at The Herald from 2001 to 2005 and, according to editor Carlton Fletcher, was the perfect person to “fill the hole” in the newspaper’s staff with the recent passing of reporter Terry Lewis.
“You lose a veteran reporter like Terry Lewis ... well, you just don’t replace someone like that,” Fletcher said. “But Alan and I struck up a conversation a while back that included a brief discussion about the possibility of his returning to The Herald. As fate would have it, circumstances made that possibility a reality.
“I can’t think of many people I’d even consider for the opening we had as long as Alan was in the mix. He’s a true professional.”
After graduating from Randolph-Clay High School, Mauldin continued his education at Andrew College and Valdosta State University. He is adept at telling the stories of people from this part of the world.
“I like telling stories,” he said. “The other day I was in Sears getting a new refrigerator, and the sales guy told me about a lady whose oven died. She’d bought it in 1972 and had paid the repair policies on it all those years. They hated to have to tell her that they could no longer get parts for it. She had two daughters with her, and it was like a wake atmosphere.
“I’d imagine the daughters remember cooking around the stove with Mom, and more than likely, granddaughters, too. I’d had my refrigerator for nearly 20 years, myself. I did not mourn it, however.”
Mauldin said he’s reacquainting himself with Albany.
“Being back in Albany is interesting and fun so far,” he said. “Downtown is the same, but at the same time, very different. There’s the familiar, but a lot of new stuff, too.”
Mauldin has already written about regional farm and school issues in his short tenure with The Herald.
There are those, he says, who he’s looking forward to interviewing for stories.
“An attorney for one of the government bodies, after a lengthy interview with me, once told me: ‘Being interviewed by you is like being mind-raped,’” Mauldin said.
Hopefully, Joe Pesci won’t find himself in Mauldin’s crosshairs.