Archive for Thursday, August 8, 2002

Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye

August 8, 2002

When I was in high school, I was in The Sound of Music. No, I wasn't the elegant Captain von Trapp or the boyish teen idol Rolf. I was some random Nazi with perhaps one line. Mostly, I hung out with the roadies, building sets and pretending to be rock stars after shows by taking turns on stage lip synching to Iron Maiden while another roadies ran the spotlights.

Given my propensity for heavy metal in the days of my youth when I was taught what it meant to be a man (Zeppelin reference), it seems strange to admit my favorite song in that show was "So Long, Farewell." You know the song: Each cute little Von Trapp child has a little song and dance at the big gala before they go to bed (and again when they make a break for it to Switzerland). So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen goodbye. It just opened my eyes that there are so many ways to say some things. Even goodbye.

So today I bid adieu, to you, and you and you. I've accepted an offer to be the publisher for the Olathe News, and this is my last week at the Explorer. In the more than two years that I've been here, I've learned more about community journalism than in the prior 10 years that I'd been in the business. In the spirit and tradition of Pat Sangimino and Jackie Hosey, I'd like to recognize a few people who made my stay in De Soto more pleasant.

To the chamber of commerce, the chamber board and the EDC members: You have a terrific small-town charm and a lot of passion for the community. Thank you for giving me the chance to serve. I'll miss Maddie's laugh, Dan Gulley's donuts and Daryl Zimmerman's questions.

Other people who stand out in De Soto include the mayor, Linda Zindler, Lana McPherson and Marilyn Layman. De Soto is lucky to have the vision of these four leaders. They will do more to move the city and schools forward than perhaps some are prepared. That's what makes them leaders. I'll miss 'em.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Simons family, owners of this paper. They are the nicest people for whom I've ever worked. Dolph, Dolph and Dan have been so good to me professionally, but also to my family. Thank you for all you have done for us.

And to the team here at the News and Explorer: your work ethic is unmatched. Eric, you've grown so much. Keep getting better. Roger, your photos gave life to so many front pages. Erinn, you have a great future in this business. Your positive attitude inspires me. Elvyn, you are reliable and fun to work with, even when I drive you nuts. How many times have I come home from Lawrence at 8 p.m. or later and seen you still at work? Thank you.

And finally: Theresa Abel. It's no secret she's the glue that holds this whole thing together. Saying goodbye to you is the hardest. You taught me it's possible to make your family the top priority while not letting work slip. Your whole family (and it's a big one) is made up of loving, caring people. And you're the best of them. God bless you.

The sun has gone to bed and so must I. Thank you for two great years.

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