Archive for Thursday, August 8, 2002

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen

August 8, 2002

When I was in high school, I was in "The Sound of Music." No, I wasn't the elegant Captain von Trapp or the boyish teen idol Rolf. I was some random Nazi with perhaps one line. Mostly, I hung out with the roadies, building sets and pretending to be rock stars after shows by taking turns on stage lip syncing to Iron Maiden while other roadies ran the spotlights.

Given my propensity for heavy metal in the days of my youth when I was taught what it meant to be a man (Zeppelin reference), it seems strange to admit my favorite song in that show was "So Long, Farewell." You know the song: Each cute little Von Trapp child has a little song and dance at the big gala before they go to bed (and again when they make a break for it to Switzerland). So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye. It just opened my eyes that there are so many ways to say some things. Even goodbye.

So today I bid adieu, to you, and you and you. I've accepted an offer to be the publisher for the Olathe News and this is my last week at the News. In the more than two years that I've been here, I've learned more about community journalism than in the prior 10 years that I'd been in the business. In the spirit and tradition of Pat Sangimino and Jackie Hosey, I'd like to recognize a few people who made my stay in Eudora more pleasant.

This is a town with a bright future. Some people made us feel incredibly welcome, and I want to personally thank them. Marilyn Laws Porter, her incredible daughter Julie Stewart and Judi O'Grady have been so good to us personally and professionally. I can't say enough about what they do to make Eudora a better place. We have shared life changes the last two years, some good, some bad. But I'll always remember the hug Marilyn gave me at Cooper's baptism and the hug Judi gave me at Relay this year.

Eudora has been blessed to have leadership in its schools the caliber of Marty Kobza, Dale Sample and Rod Moyer, as examples. I wish our son could have had the chance to learn under these three gentlemen. I hope to see them on the tee first thing next spring to find out how Eudora is better than ever. And to see how many times the new publisher omits the no-detentions list just to get under Moyer's skin.

Treavha and Ab Hall have watched Cooper for a year. Julie Stewart introduced us and they have become family. I'll miss the love they give Cooper and the treats Treavha gives me. Speaking of treats, I'll miss Donna Oleson's pies. Branden and Kirsten Boyd also come to mind. They have put up with their pesky neighbors and been incredibly generous with their tools, their time and their patience. If we get neighbors like them for the rest of our lives, I'll be happy at home.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Simons family, owners of this paper. They are the nicest people for whom I've ever worked. Dolph, Dolph and Dan have been so good to me professionally and also to my family. Thank you for all you have done for us.

And to the team here at the News and Explorer: your work ethic is unmatched. Eric, you've grown so much. Keep getting better. Roger, your photos gave life to so many front pages. Erinn, you have a great future in this business. Your positive attitude inspires me. Elvyn, you are reliable and fun to work with, even when I drive you nuts. How many times have I come home from Lawrence at 8 p.m. or later and seen you still at work? Thank you.

And finally: Theresa Abel. It's no secret she's the glue that holds this whole thing together. Saying goodbye to you is the hardest. You taught me it's possible to make your family the top priority while not letting work slip. Your whole family (and it's a big one) is made up of loving, caring people. And you're the best of them. God bless you.

The sun has gone to bed and so must I. Thank you for two great years.

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