This has to be one of the hardest things I have had to write in quite sometime, but to not write it would be rude and disrespectful to a community I have grown to love. Over the last few years I have learned a lot about what it means to be a community. I have interviewed so many wonderful people and angered just about the same. I have made some great friends and built some amazing relationships, but unfortunately it is time to say good-bye.
This isn’t something that was decided over night and it was not a decision that came easy. Actually, it was one that came with tears and regret. The last few months have taken a turn for me. My wife and I gave birth to my new baby boy, my mother moved out of my childhood home and my father had a stroke.
What many don’t know is that for the last three, almost four, years I have driven 45 minutes one way to do my job at The Elsberry Democrat, but with all that has changed I must be closer to my family. It has been a great ride though.
I’m sure some will find this change to be a good one and I’m sure others will be somewhat sad to see me go, but I’m also sure that this community and paper will continue to do great things. It has been my pleasure to serve all of you. It has been my honor to learn your stories and tell them to all. I wish things could be different, but the world has away of altering what should and shouldn’t be true.
One of the greatest things I have experienced in my time here is how a small community, full of gossip and worry can still come together and unify their resources to help each other out, whether they like one another or not. I learned how important school is in a smaller community, which is something I never saw when I went. I learned how tragedy can bring out the greatness in the most unexpected way’s and how even the young can do brilliant and selfless things.
I have watched some of these kids in the community start to become upstanding and dedicated adults. I have bared witness to bad calls from sport officials and fans voice their frustration about it and rival schools through chanting offenses at one another.
I’m not sure what the future will bring for my family and myself, but what I do know is that this community has helped me become a better person.
I want to thank all of you for making the last three years so memorable and I hope you will treat my replacement, whoever that may be, with the same gracious attitude and acceptance you have shown me. Thank you for the memories and life lessons.