Well all good things must come to an end, right? Sometimes life sends you curve balls and you just have to step out of the way. I had planned on doing this slowly and with a prolonged goodbye, to all those who have been so helpful and supportive over the years, but circumstances dictated otherwise.
It has been a hectic, thought-provoking, perplexing, rewarding and at times exciting nearly 20 years. I so very much appreciate the fact that I had the opportunity to end my career here, trying to keep people updated on what is going on in their communities, informing them of their choices and urging them to make the best ones.
Journalism is not what it was when I began doing this decades ago. It has become something I never thought I would see, and many now in the field are not interested in telling the truth as it actually exists, but in making it fit in with whatever prevailing political and social winds tend to blow. That will be the death of a free press eventually, and some believe true freedom of expression died long ago.
I will miss the Valley, and most of all, the beauty and opportunity to reflect I found here. I had intended to end my days in the shadow of these mountains, but like I said in the beginning, life isn’t always what you plan or expect. My pen will not be still after leaving, it will simply be directed to other topics in other areas.
To all those at Valley Publishing and the Courier, my heartfelt thanks for allowing me to pursue the stories I covered and express my opinions freely. Special thanks for putting on the brakes when I needed them and for supporting me when others attacked what I wrote. That type of support is too often uncommon in this business, and I commend you for it. Thanks to all my fellow reporters for their assistance when I needed it and for pointing things out, I would have missed otherwise.
To my readers and critics alike, I also express my gratitude. So many of you provided information that I never could have uncovered myself and even helped avoid potentially dangerous outcomes. Thank you for the letters, phone calls and emails that kept me going when the going was tough.
And to my critics, you helped me more than you know. Those in the media need to sit back and look at the other side carefully and thoughtfully, to make sure everything is being taken into consideration and everyone receives a fair hearing. I have tried to use what you say to ensure that this was the case.
Goodbyes are always hard, but at least I have been given the opportunity to thank everyone and tell them how much they all will be missed. I wish for each and every one of you the best and brightest future possible. Keep going forward with all your projects to better your communities and never falter in fighting the good fight.
It has been an honor and a pleasure — may God be with you all.