Be warned. This column contains one of those quotes. You know the kind – the one you see on social media, with every sort of scene in the background.
They use pictures of the mountains, a dimly lit room with the new type of light fixtures hanging down, a shot of a forest in the Pacific Northwest showing the dew on the trees and grass.
It’s hard to search for just the right one. There are so many out there. And, can you really believe who is credited for saying such profound words?
Then, deadlines make it tricky to write sometimes. It's hurry up, but then, you have to wait for inspiration. And, sometimes you’re afraid it’s not hit quite yet.
But, the clock is ticking – and, write this column I must. So, here goes:
Almost five years ago, I stepped back into a familiar office. It was one where I served a very different role for six years.
An opportunity to come on board as the new editor of the Farmington Press was a chapter I never expected to write. After all, I recognized Wit Ledbetter as the editor of the Farmington Evening Press when I was in elementary school. How was it I would be filling – in a different sort of way – those same shoes? How could I make this paper – in its weekly form – something people looked forward to reading each week?
I never made this paper about me. It was always about our readers. What do they like to read? How can I tell the story of my hometown, its people and all that it means to me in a way most fitting?
Friday is my last day at the Farmington Press. The emotions come flooding in as I think about all the faces I’ve met, stories I’ve been able to tell and memories I’ll cherish forever.
Admittedly, it wasn’t my own doing that made the paper. I got to print the work of someone I admire – Janet Douglas. Her column was the one I looked forward to each week as a reader. And, there was my reporter, Craig Vaughn, who for most of my time as editor helped tell the stories of the community. I’m grateful for their help.
Most recently, Kevin Jenkins and Jacob Scott from the Daily Journal staff lent their talents to the Press. Jacob has taken a job in Jefferson City and I’m honored to say Kevin will be stepping into the role as editor of the Press. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to crying when I got word of that. He’s a perfect fit for the job and I know the paper is in wonderful hands.
Then, there’s Teresa Ressel and Renee Bronaugh - better known as my fellow members of the "Chips and Salsa Support Group" - Doug Smith, Tori Kemper, Al Kopitsky and Matt King…my fellow editorial staff that made me laugh each week during our editorial meetings.
Francis Carrow, who so graciously let me publish photos from his collection, thank you. I'm so glad to share your love of history of the community and that you so willingly shared photos from your collection.
And, Marsha. Gosh. Can’t even begin to know what to write here about someone who has been at the office with me from day one. She’s been the shoulder I’ve cried on, ears to hear my ramblings and, most of all, friend I’ll cherish forever.
One of those very special people is found on this page – in another editorial I wrote almost three months ago. By coincidence – or fate – it didn’t make it to the pages of the paper at that time. And, I had no idea I’d be where I am today at that time as well.
To me, it seems fitting I can share the page with Lucy McGuire in this last issue where I’m at the helm.
So, when my search for a quote came up empty-handed and I found myself facing deadline, I decided to use that which I lean on.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans not to harm you – to give you a hope and a future.”
The words of Jeremiah 29:11.
Every time I met with Lucy, our talks would go from that of her latest book to her faith – so strong and sure. This verse is my go-to for almost 25 years. And, it’ll be just as important during the start of this next chapter.
Thank you, readers, for letting me bring a part of myself into your homes each Thursday. I’ll be forever grateful.