"That's it for the news, and I am outta here!"
Saturday Night Live
I can think of very few jobs that let a parting employee sound off with a few words of a goodbye sendoff.
And that's exactly what this is.
After more than three years of working for The Eudora News, the time has come for me to pursue another experience. The big irony of my tenure here is that I grew up in a town with a population of about 5,000, graduated from college, moved 170 miles from home, and ended up working in a town that has a population of about 5,000.
As I sat down and started to type, I was going to use the same old formula as other parting employees who have written about those in the community who have made an impact during their stay here. But really, and I know this is extremely cliche, I just can't name them all. I've had such a great, unique and overwhelmingly meaningful experience working here.
When I sat down and started to write out who had made the biggest impact on me, the list was too long for us to print, and much to the paper's chagrin, I'm not taking out a full-page ad.
Whether it was people in city or school leadership, teachers, students, victims, survivors, the trampled or the dreamers, almost everyone I have come in contact with in this city has made a great impact on me -- one that I will keep with me wherever life leads me.
As for my co-workers, I can say I've been truly blessed to have such great comrades.
Although no longer here, I thank Roger Nomer, our former photographer, for how we used to team up on projects. He's an excellent photographer, and rarely have I met someone who captures emotion the way he does through a lens. If only the world could see some of the pictures that never made it to print; truly amazing. Thank you Bob Nordyke and Dan Simon for giving me a chance, and for giving me an opportunity to prove myself fresh out of school.
I haven't known advertising representative Quinn Gregg for very long, but I assure you, I have learned a lot from our talks. As a soon-to-be-married man, I'll know what to expect when the newborns come around someday. You've made me realize that children very well could be the future.
Michele Cleveland, you were a real surprise when you came on board. You take great pictures, you picked up those crazy administrative computer programs much quicker than me, and I've enjoyed watching you become like a sidekick to Theresa. The cool thing is that you have a connection of sorts to BlackLodge owners The Get Up Kids (they have a song called "Michele with one 'L.'")
Erinn R. Barcomb, my replacement that put me to shame. You're so talented in every aspect of your work, from writing to photography to proof reading. But my favorite has been your design. You have such a creative knack that always astonishes me. Keep up the great work.
I can still remember the first time I talked to Elvyn J. Jones on the phone. At first, I thought he hung up on me. Then, I learned he is just one of those people that never says "bye" when getting off the phone. I learned of his dedication and sacrifice, often staying late on days when things went south. I learned about his great ability as a writer and his knack for writing in-depth, meaty stories. And, I also learned that he's a talented artist with a past life filled of great adventures. I just hope he writes a book of his tales complete with his own illustrations someday.
Lastly, I have to say thanks to Theresa Abel. Theresa, or "T.A." as some know her by, knows how to make miracles happen. I've seen her do some of the most amazing things in this job. Her ethics, her ability to learn, and her seemingly infinite knowledge of this community is astounding. For me, T.A. is an icon about what small-town living is all about -- work hard, love often, and get to know your neighbors. Thank you for your example. I'm sorry I wasn't as good at the business-type stuff as you are.
So there you have it. Thanks Eudora for all you've given me.
That's it for the News, and I am outta here.