Glad to be back

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Hello Charlotte County — I’m back!

To some of you readers, I’m new, but to most, you have seen my byline appear in The Charlotte Gazette before … many years ago.

It was working for The Charlotte Gazette and former owners, the Tucker Family that most of you may remember me.

I remember walking through those doors at the office in Drakes Branch as a young 21-year-old having no idea how to cover a meeting much less how to write about it. Well, I learned — and I learned a lot over the 16 years that I was there.

I have always had a love for covering Charlotte County. Maybe because it’s where I got my start in journalism, perhaps it’s because of all the wonderful people I met and friendships I gained along the way.

In 2011 I left the newspaper, and I stepped away from journalism for a while, but last month, when the opportunity to return to the field arose and knowing I would get to cover Charlotte County, I quickly said yes!

My first week back at The Charlotte Gazette, while under new ownership was different, getting reacquainted with old friends and people I used to have to call on for information and quotes was not, and I loved that. It felt like time never passed.

Over the past weeks, I have received many phone calls, emails and in person “welcome backs,” and for that, I am thankful. Thank you for making me feel at home again. I genuinely look forward to covering Charlotte County again and giving it the coverage that is so needed and deserved and along the way I hope I make the Tuckers proud.

Crystal Vandegrift is a staff reporter for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is