COMMENTARY: Here at last, dear readers
I joined the staff of the Sullivan Daily Times back in July 2012.
My first assignment took me all of half a block’s walk outside the old office building to the courthouse square to cover an event being put on by the Humane Society of Sullivan County.
I mean, there are worse ways to start a job than taking pictures of puppies and kittens.
Since I started, I’ve covered everything from town board meetings to murder trials, the Sullivan County 4-H Fair to school consolidations and closures.
In 2017, I took on the role of content manager and, this last fall, managing editor, trying to make the Times even better than it was before.
But, on May 30, I’ll be leaving that role and the paper itself. In August, I’ll be returning to Indiana State University to pursue a master’s degree.
The time I’ve spent working for my hometown newspaper has been amazing.
I’ve grown as both a writer, an editor and a person, and I know I’ll be taking the lessons I’ve learned at the Times into my future.
But, as with most ends, there is still more to come.
With my exit, Kristi Sanders, who was brought on only last year as our editor, will be taking over as the head of content and the newsroom.
She will continue to lead the Times as it continues to evolve in the current environment of journalism and small-town papers.
When I took my first job with the Times, I wasn’t prepared for how much interacting with my hometown community has come to mean to me.
This community has been good to me and, in turn, I have been excited to watch as the community has grown.
When I was moved to content manager, I explained my new position using an analogy to the “The Hobbit,” by J.R.R. Tolkien.
I had found myself on a new adventure just like Bilbo Baggins as he clamored off to join a band of dwarves seeking to reclaim their lost home.
It was an exciting time and it stayed that way throughout my time here.
But, as I move into the next chapter of my life, it seems only fitting that I leave you with the benediction given by Gandalf the White in “The Return of the King” to his friends as he left Middle Earth for his new home in Valinor.
“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”