Final issue of The Explorer time for acknowledgements
Volume 13, Number 5.
Those two figures appearing on the front page of this week’s De Soto Explorer serve as a RIP of sorts as this will be the last.
It’s a sad day for many and certainly for me. I’ve spent the past decade reporting on this community. Issues like the World of Oz, the protracted quarry permit fight, school bond referenda and city water decisions filled the paper during those years, but so did stories of De Soto’s happening and people.
I was blessed in this to work with a number of great people. The list starts with the current staff of Ashlee Kieler and Jeff Deters and extends to Sara Shepherd, Joel Reichenberger, Erinn Barcomb, Jackie Hosey, Mike Sudshalter and Eric Gruber — all of whom I can report are doing well in this or related fields. At the top of the list is the indefatigable Theresa Abel.
Through it all, I developed a great deal of affection of the city on the hills overlooking the Kansas River. One of my favorite drives will always be 95th from Lexington to Cedar Creek to 83rd Street and back.
And I made a lot of friends. Some, I’ll see again, but I regretfully acknowledge that is not true for all.
Here is where this column will start to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, but there is no way I can leave De Soto without acknowledging those who have helped me through the years. I’ll start with the City Hall staff of Pat Guilfoyle, Mike Brungardt, Lana McPherson, Linda Bohnsack and Patrick Reavey, who under the leadership of Mayor Dave Anderson were always open and accessible. I’m also indebted to local historians Darrel Zimmerman and Kathy Ross. Both provided source material that helped make our sesquicentennial coverage much richer, and Kathy continued to generously share old photos of De Soto she pursues. I long felt the school district should increase Starside Elementary School counselor Paula Henderson’s salary for her work as the school’s unofficial community relations director. She was always there for us and the students. I also need to acknowledge the help through the years of Mark Schmidt, Sara Ritter, Alvie Cater, Nikki Leisten, Tari Thompson, Jodi Hitchcock and Steve Chick.
There’s always a risk of slighting someone with such acknowledgments, and there are certainly many, many more to whom I owe thanks.
I am sure all will continue to be a resource to the Web site that will continue in a more enriched form and its journo Estuardo Garcia. As I assume fresh duties, I know I will visit to see what you all are up to.
Goodbye De Soto. I will miss you.