To the community:
I’m going to miss this town and everyone in it. Resigning as the editor and leaving Winterset is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. Truly. I want to thank everyone that has helped me, everyone who has welcomed me and those who have encouraged me along the way. You know who you are.
There are things about Winterset that exist only here, things and people that cannot be re-created and those are what I will miss the most. They are in no particular order and most definitely do not encompass everything; there’s not enough room in the paper for that.
First and foremost, I will miss my employees, coworkers and many friends at the newspaper. When in the newspaper industry, we have a saying that it’s a family, a newspaper family and nothing is truer than that. These people have become as close and important to family to me over the last decade and that will never change and that goes for a certain historical columnist! I will certainly miss seeing your cheerful face each week. (Rest assured, I will still take the paper in Tennessee and read your column!)
I will miss many things about my job and just the community in general as well; things like the sight of a familiar black bicycle parked in front of Bridges Financial and the post cards and thank you cards that I often receive from the rider of that bicycle. Sometimes it’s that simple thank you that keeps us going in this business.
I will miss the many, many people that care about this community and actively try to make it a better place. People who take care of the community in general like Jake and Carol Jacobs (Carol gives me a hug when I need it!). People like Ruth Reed who has been one of my biggest supporters and dear friends and who also gives so much back to the community and gives me lots of hugs! Ardis Meyers, another of my huggers (seeing a pattern here? I pretty much run on hugs).
People like Rebecca and Marianne Fons and everyone that banded together to bring the theater back to life. Ah …. The Iowa Theater. I will miss that place. I got proposed to there, on the marquee no less! That memory will always stay with me. I will miss my Winterset Music Club family so much. I will miss seeing the mayor water the flowers and seeing Jim and Pat Nelson out in the community doing good. Honestly, there’s just too many do-gooders in this community for me to mention and too many people that I will miss, so please, don’t feel bad if I have not mentioned you by name; trust me, you are in my heart.
I will miss waking up on a Wednesday morning and going to the paper to grab a copy, fresh off the press and to watch others come in and pick up their newspaper. That sense of pride and accomplishment will stay with me. The pride in training three different interns in my time here and watching them grow up, go away to college and mature as young journalists, that will stay with me. Heck, one of them is even going to study journalism! There are too many memories and too many friendships to name in this column, but all these memories will stay with me.
As will the sight of a covered bridge frosted with snow, or the courthouse lit up with Christmas lights and the sound of Halloween or holiday music blaring from its peak, those are the things that don’t exist elsewhere except Winterset and their memories will stay with me. The feel and sound of walking down my favorite alleyway in the rain or the smell of the books at the local library, these are the things that I will hold always dear. I have made friendships here that will last me a lifetime and that’s just it … this isn’t goodbye, but as we say down south, “Come back and see us now, ya hear?!”
Yes Winterset, I will.