The farewell column, I guess, is something of a tradition in the newspaper industry. When a writer or editor moves on to a new assignment, or simply decides it’s time to hang up the keyboard for good, a few parting words have come to be expected.
Here is mine.
Today (Tuesday) is my last day at the Greene County Daily World. Since the news is out – I Tweeted Friday “This will be my last Miner football game” – allow me to clarify a few things, lest the rumors get to flying.
I didn’t get fired. I didn’t get mad and quit. I’m not “disgruntled.” In fact, I’m “gruntled.” (Yes, that’s a word.) It’s simply time.
In my follow up Tweet I explained, “Sold the house, moving to Indy.”
I will be relocating to Indianapolis – tomorrow – to be near the love of my life, my ladyfriend Megan, as we take the next steps in our journey. We’ve been together a dozen years and she’s stuck with me despite being separated by 100 miles.
It wasn’t easy for her. There were weeks at a time I couldn’t make it up there for a visit due to my schedule. I just hope she can stand having me around all the time.
It seems sudden, with a Friday night announcement on Twitter. But I’ve been planning this move for a couple years. My house has been up for sale since June so some of you knew this was coming.
So now I’m riding off into the sunset. And what a ride it was.
A big thank you goes to Anna Rochelle and Chris Pruett for giving me this opportunity a little over five years ago. Very few organizations would take a chance on a (then) 56-year-old guy with zero experience. But you did.
Obviously there are things I’ll miss. I’ll list them below.
State Finals: In the world of online advertising and search engine optimization there are words and phrases known as “keywords” designed to “hook” the reader and “reel him in.”
When the Daily World began advertising for my soon-to-be-vacated position, a major selling point was “How would you like to be in the dugout at Victory Field, on the sidelines at Lucas Oil Stadium, or on press row at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the State Finals?”
It isn’t false advertising. I’ve been to six State Finals.
There could have been more. And there will be in the years to come.
Thank you Laker baseball, Bloomfield basketball, Eastern Thunderbirds and Linton Miners!
Miner football: No explanation needed. And as former coach Rick Wellington told me in an interview, you can’t explain it anyway. You just have to experience it.
Basketball: It’s Indiana.
There are several subcategories here.
Joey Hart: Joey, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve done for Miner basketball. You’ve made me proud.
Bloomfield basketball: See Miner football above.
The Switz City Gym: My all-time favorite gym. Has been since I was a little tyke.
Some are bigger. Some – Huntingburg’s Memorial Gym and Loogootee’s Jack Butcher Arena – are similarly styled. None is finer.
Bobe’s Pizza at the Switz City Gym: Bobe’s Pizza isn’t just good pizza for Greene County. It’s good, period. Megan says so. She ought to know. She’s half-Italian. And they have Volcano Pizza in Mishawaka, where she went to high school at Marian.
The kids: High school athletics, after all, is all about the kids – or at least it should be. It’s their time to shine.
The kids keep me young. And I’m just a big goofy kid myself.
One final note: This may not be the last you hear from me. If circumstances allow, I may continue to contribute occasionally.
Until then, sayonara.