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Time to Hang Them Up.Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011, at 12:04 PM
Saying goodbye is never easy.
Saying goodbye for the last time renders it even more difficult.
After six years, my body tells me that I can no longer leave one job to go to work at a second even if my mind is still willing. It is time to turn it over to fresh blood. My decision to resign my sportswriter position conjures up a rash of emotions that I am simply not capable of conveying as a person or as a journalist, but I feel compelled to try.
As hard as it is to believe, it has been six years since I wrote my first article for the Times-Gazette. Approximately a million words later I am the first to admit that I have flown by the seat of my pants for the most part with no formal training or any real appreciation for the ins and outs of journalism boundaries however real or implied. The on-the-job-training lessons could be harsh, but the lessons learned were worth every minute of it.
There have been many bumps along the way, a lot of late nights and more nachos and hot dogs consumed in place of good home cooked meals than I care to remember, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world.
I have made many friends along the way and I have learned a lot about our community, but more importantly, my faith has been renewed that our youth is in the right hands with the teachers and coaches that I have had the privilege of serving with these past years.
Their dedication and sacrifice in their quest to help our student athletes realize their hopes and dreams is way too often overlooked and grossly under-appreciated.
They are some of the true heroes in our lives and we should all take the time to let them know that we don't take them for granted. It is my most fervent hope that I have been able to personally convey those feelings through my interactions with them over the years.
I would like to thank my teammates Gary 'The Godfather' Johnson and Danny Parker for taking me under their wing and making me a part of their family. We have at times fought like cats and dogs but when the chips were down we always united to provide the very best for our teams that we could with the manpower we had to work with.
I am proud that our department has dominated the Tennessee Associated Press Awards for papers in our circulation group in both the written content and photography categories.
I would be remiss not to thank my wife, Shawna, and daughters Lillie Beth, Katie and Emily for allowing me the freedom to pursue my dream and to help make it a reality. I realize now more than ever that the many nights of sitting home waiting for daddy to show up so that you could share your daily activities with me was more than I should have asked of you.
I promise to spend the rest of my life being a better father and husband to you all.
Same with you, Wade Jones. A son should be with his dad more than I have been able to be with you in recent years.
Finally, I would like to thank the folks at the paper for allowing me the opportunity to fulfill my dream.
I may not have always accomplished it, but I can honestly say that I always tried to be a good ambassador for the Times-Gazette no matter where my assignments took me.
Goodbye and May God Bless. It has been a great ride!
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