These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

...and then there

i am the lone reporter at my paper of that era long ago when i joined the staff in holland.

monday john robbins came back from his vacation and turned in his two-week notice to say he's moving down south to a paper among the hills and trees. it was long in coming for him.

john is the last of the group of six reporters when i got to the paper in dec. 2003. then, there were only a couple of reporters who'd been there less than a year. the rest had been there muchlonger. slowly they left, one at a time.

i felt like an outsider, the southern boy coming north to a cold climate to a place where i knew no one and had to try and build friendships and knowledge of the area.

geez, this hasn't turned out the way i wanted. but i'm this far invested and i'll plod forward.

there is the list of reporters gone before john.

1) zach, the education guy. he left before the snow and thaw occurred in early 2004.
2) bob gold, the business reporter. he was a cool cat (everyone knew it) and he left in late summer of 2004 off to the east.
3) regan, who worked in allegan left in sept. 2004, shortly after bob left. she went off to chicago.
4) lesa, who was city reporter, was here and there, then left in early 2006.
5) john b., who did education and various other beats, is still there but switched over to the night desk and no longer reports.
6) john r., who has been at the paper neary six (?) years, reported for ottawa co. his last day is friday.

in between those, others have left, others who joined in the interim (krista c. and lisa k.) that came and then left.

and that leaves me, still at the night desk,the general assignmetn guy. so not really a true reporter. so maybe they're all gone.

eithere, i guess i'm the senior correspondent now. i should get my business cards changed to reflect that.


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