It's time to make like a cowpatty and hit the trail.
I love that saying. It has always made me laugh on a purely sophomoric level. Today, it's pretty apt.
I know I have made lots of people angry over the years. These editorials have sometimes prompted heated comments, angry phone calls and yes, a couple of pretty open-ended threats. It comes with the job but I've sometimes found myself toning down what I wanted to say just in
an effort to keep the peace. Sometimes I just throw it out there and see what happens.
My stands haven't always been popular but I've also gotten some support over the years. Folks have told me that they understand the grief I sometimes catch and that they're grateful for my willingness to stick my head up above the crowd.
I like living in Clark County. This is my home.
I was born in the hospital in Gurdon and moved into the house where I live now when I was just three. My grandparents lived in the Red Springs community and it's just a ten-minute drive for me to go by their old homeplace.
My maternal grandparents spent most of their lives just across the road from where my house is now. You can't buy roots like that. I'm not sure you can move roots like that.
My grandmother wrote the “Billstown News,” one of those long-lost community columns, for the Gurdon-Times. That was way before my time but when I was a teenager my mother dragged out some of the clippings and I caught the bug. Through high school, I'd call up my neighbors every Sunday afternoon and write up my version of the “Billstown News.” There wasn't much to it. “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So visited their grandchildren this week” was usually about all I could come up with.
Years passed before a new chapter of my life opened up and a cousin who is also a journalist suggested I contact a man in Camden about a job. That was my first real reporter's gig and I was totally hooked from that point.
A couple of stints with the Siftings, some time in Prescott and Hot Springs, and even a three-month period spent covering the state Legislature brings us to the here and now.
When it's time to make like a banana and split.
My last day in the Siftings editor's chair is this Friday. I've spent some time doing the mama-bird worrying (will my little chicks really be able to fly without me?) but I've spent years surrounding myself with talented people and the team I built here will be fine. That's almost sad in and of itself.
The job has had its moments and the business has changed. Not all of the changes are, in my opinion, for the better, but I think that's true of every job in every corner of the world. Those who spend years in the business have to adapt and change, and the changes aren't always welcome.
Page 2 of 2 - Maybe the fact that I can remember the “good old days of journalism” is just another indication that it's time to make like a tree and leave.
To each reader who took an interest in this paper during my tenure, thank you. Even if your comments were critical, they were always weighed and considered. To everyone who hated specific changes, I sympathize. It's almost as tough seeing your favorite products change as it is to implement those changes, and even more so if the changes are hated.
I will say that I think Clark County as a whole has some hard work ahead. There are going to be some difficult decisions and I have already said that the people of the county have the responsibility to choose officials that will do what's right. And those who are elected need to step up to the plate, do what's right and stand up for their constituents.
And with that, I'll close. After all, it's time to make like Van and Gough. Or make like a nose and boogie. Or make like a bridge and get over it. Or make like a nylon and run.
I could go on but you can stick a fork in me, cause I'm done.