Final thoughts on leaving
Changes occur all around us … when we expect them and when we least expect them.
Since I announced my retirement for Aug. 1, almost one month ago, the personal responses, emails, texts, Facebook messages, visits and phone calls have been overwhelming.
Some called it unique for someone to spend as many as 30 years at one location — especially a newspaper — yet the experience gleaned from all the experiences have been invaluable. From a few summers at the former Nevada State Journal in the early 1970s to small community newspapers, each has provided experience and wisdom, something no book or manual can provide.
During the early 1970s, a reporter from the University of Nevada, Reno’s Sagebrush, the student publication, wrote an article about me as being a Walter Mitty type. The phrase caught me by surprise because James Thurber’s character dreams about adventures that make him a hero, yet he does not accomplish much. When I asked her about her interpretation of the meaning, the reporter said she was thinking more of someone who takes those many dreams and works to makes each idea a reality.
Like many of you, I have wanted to do this or that over the course of my life. In the early 1970s while still in college in Reno, I had dreams of becoming a Major League Baseball sportscaster or a big-city television news anchor or reporter. Perhaps, in that realm, the dreams stayed as such … dreams … although I had a brief experience of being a weekend TV news anchor and calling play-by-play for high-school football and basketball.
I don’t regret anything I’ve done. There may have been times when I questioned my sanity, but those moments were rare. Idealistically, I would like to think I made a difference either as a teacher or a journalist. Newspapers inform and also become a didactic tool in explaining concepts to the communities they serve.
Near the beginning, I mentioned changes when we least expect them. It was by accident that I developed a love for small-town community newspapers, thanks in part to a person who also enjoyed reporting on the people and events with sincere hopes that she made a difference with her writing.
Over the years, I have felt like many dedicated and hard-working reporters who brought Churchill County the news without the fanfare of a Washington Post or NY Times. Although social media has eroded the importance of a small-town newspaper during the past decade, this local paper has fought fairly and diligently to be a vital part of this community for 114 years.
Where else could I have covered collegiate football bowl games or NCAA basketball or write articles, breaking news or editorials that raised lively discussion. In 37 years of newspaper work, I wrote more than 10,000 articles, 400 weekly editorials and 600 sports columns.
My dreams were real. Thank you Fallon for 30 years as we both move forward.