Commentary . . . My final thoughts PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 00:00
    When I started writing for Green Banner Publications (GBP) nearly three years ago I knew this day would come.  Honestly, though, I thought it would have come a year or so ago.  When GBP Publisher Joe Green and I first sat down and discussed me coming to work, I told him that I would do it until he was either fed up with me or I wasn't enjoying myself, whichever came first.
    Well, I'm sure that Joe has been fed up with me on numerous occasions but for whatever reason did not pull the trigger.  However, in the past few months it has become clear to me that I am ready to move on.  Please understand that my desire to explore other options has nothing to do with anything at GBP—it is simply time to move on.
    I want to thank Joe Green for giving me the opportunity and the freedom to do this job the way I thought it should be done.  Another individual that I want to thank is Donna Nunley, Office Manager for the Washington County Edition.  Without her discretion, organizational skills and loyalty, I would never have been able to do my job.  In addition, I want to thank former GBP Editor Mark Grigsby for taking the time to show me the ins and outs of small town journalism.  Although I wrote for some underground publications in college, my formal training is in English and Writing, not Journalism—there is a difference.
    Above all, I want to thank the people who I cannot name for obvious reasons; those who were willing to provide me with information, both on and off the record, and point me in the right direct to ferret out the “story behind the story.”
Without your help I would not have known where to begin.
    Finally, thank you, Washington County, for giving me the support you have over the last three years.  It made the job far more rewarding than I ever expected.
    It seems appropriate, at this time to apologize to anyone who dealt with stress or worry brought on unintentionally by my writing.  To the others who felt the stress, worry and pressure deservedly, I stand by my work.
    One of my favorite quotes comes the the play, Inherit the Wind, in which a character named E.K. Hornbeck, a journalist, says to another character, “Mr. Brady, it is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”  That quote always made sense to me, even before I came to GBP.
    Now that the obligatory “thank yous” and mea culpas are handled, please indulge me as I  share my observations about Washington County and the events that take place here.
    Based on my life experience, Washington County is not a lot different than any other rural community.  Most people want things to get better but at the same time they don't want things to change.  People look for simple solutions to complex problems and devise complex solutions to simple problems.
    Most people in Washington County want to be left alone.  They are not anti-social or unneighborly, they just want to go about their daily lives without being forced to alter their routines, even if that change is for the best.  
    As in all communities, large and small, Washington County has its share of power brokers or wannabe power brokers.  These are the people more concerned with slicing up the economic/power pie than growing the pie for the benefit of all. These are the ones who will support growth and change only is they maintain their influence and get credit for it.
    Washington County also has something that other small communities have—a lot of really good people.  I don't care how you define “good people”, Washington County has a lot.  That is why so many of us who were not born and raised here made the decision to put down roots.
    If Joe Green decides to replace me I hope that person is able to see Washington County for what it really is--neither the armpit of the world nor a Garden of Eden.  It is home, and home is where the heart is.  Home is also where faults and shortcomings are accepted and understood but not ignored by those who care about you.
    In conclusion, I have struggled in trying to figure out how to end this commentary—something cute, clever or classic is probably appropriate.  However, trying to choose just the ideal closing salutation to write has been a problem.  Finally, I narrowed it down to my top five.  I figure that is as good a way as any to end not only this bit of self-indulgence but also my journalistic career.
Number 5: “To everything there is a season . . .” Ecclesiastes—for those who know me, a bit sacrilegious.
Number 4: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet—more high brow than I would like.
Number 3: “You got to know when to hold'em . . .” “The Gambler”—I'm not much of a county music fan.
Number 2: “Having now finished the work assigned to me . . . I take my leave.” George Washington—my leaving GBP is not that big of a deal.

And the winner is a quote from that famous barnyard philosopher, Porky Pig:

“Budip, Budip, Budip---That's all folks!”
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 October 2009 07:53