Coleman, who is a producer and reporter on the Nashville Channel 5 show “Talk of the Town,” graduated from Trigg County High School in 1977. She spoke to a crowd large enough that Rotary members had to haul out extra tables as more and more people came in.
“It’s a good problem to have except for the 40 people who don’t have a place to eat,” said Auction Chairman Tim McGinnis before the program. Luckily, everyone eventually was able to sit and enjoy a meal at Lake Barkley State Resort Park’s convention center.
Community Education Coordinator Brenda Southwick, a former teacher of Coleman’s, gave her a lengthy introduction as people finished eating breakfast. Southwick said she was honored to have taught Coleman and to have been her FHA (Future Homemakers of America) advisor. She said if she could have “mass-produced” Coleman, she would have. She said Coleman had just finished her 25th year working for NewsChannel 5, and that “Talk of the Town” was the number one local talk show in the country.
“I believe she is the same person now as she was when she left here,” Southwick said.
When Coleman arrived at the podium, she thanked Southwick for the generous introduction.
“I wish I could get a copy of that for my boyfriend’s mother,” she said.
Coleman said she was having a great time being back in Trigg County and visiting with relatives like her cousin, Regenia Wilkerson Jasper, and former teachers like her first-grade teacher, Juanita Oates. She said that people who are from small towns, such as herself, often take a lot for granted and don’t appreciate some of the aspects of home until they’ve. Not only does she now appreciate just how beautiful Lake Barkley is, but she also said that without her wonderful teachers and guidance counselors, she couldn’t have gotten a scholarship to Western Kentucky University and everything that came after that.
“I wouldn’t be here without the support of Trigg County,” she said.
Coleman said that when she was a child, she was encouraged by people in her life to “dream big.” She said her first dream was to go to college. Once she got there, her next dream was to work for Channel 5. She said she inspired to work for Channel 5 as a child when she used to watch Oprah Winfrey, who was the station’s first black female news anchor, read the news.
“I never wanted to work anywhere else,” she said.
For the best coverage of the Cadiz Rotary Auction in print, see this week's Cadiz Record.