A fond farewell, and a word of thanks to a remarkable crew.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
It was a perfect Labor Day weekend.
My wife and I headed out to the County Fair, bumping up against the kids excited about the rides and the cotton candy, and made sure to check out the livestock section – has that three-day-overdue pregnant cow delivered yet, I wonder? – picked up some free lettuce from Tanimura & Antle, and ran into some friends enjoying the sunny scene.
The next day, we took some out-of-town visitors through tourist-flooded Carmel – apparently unravaged by the recession, at least for the purposes of this holiday – checked out jazz photographer Leon Morris’ shots of Cab Calloway and Nina Simone, among others, at the Exposed Gallery, and the always handsome and inspiring works at the Weston Gallery, then headed down to the beach to drink in the wordlessly breathtaking vistas.
The cares of the world didn’t disappear, but they seemed to melt away in the rare opportunity to enjoy the moment.
The quiet rite of passage seemed to make it an even more suitable moment to let you know that this will be the last column I will be writing as editor of the Weekly.
I hate farewell pieces, but I didn’t want to leave this position without a few words of acknowledgement.
I owe a debt of thanks to Weekly CEO/Founder Bradley Zeve and Publisher Erik Cushman, who gave me the opportunity to join this remarkable community of fellow journalists and readers and become part of their ongoing journalistic experiment.
I take my hat off to the editorial department, present and past – an extraordinarily talented and hardworking crew working to bring you compelling tales of civic misadventures, artistic experiments and the broad range of human experience that lies in between. I feel obliged to express particular appreciation to fellow staffers Walter Ryce and Kera Abraham for acts of kindness and friendship that go far beyond the line of duty.
The hard work, talent and dedication of the art and production department, which struggles heroically each week to make the paper look attractive, and get it out on time, can’t be neglected in any serious discussion of how the Weekly has managed to defy the odds – and the predictions of the death of print journalism – to present an engaging product.
Too many others contribute to the paper’s success, and to its spirit, to name here, but rest assured that it’s a team effort and any omissions are simply a matter of space.
A word of explanation on my own changing situation is perhaps in order.
I came to the paper a couple of years ago at an exciting time. A spirited presidential contest was in full swing, and the local community was beginning to come to grips with the national downward economic spiral we are all still facing.
Politicians in Pacific Grove were squabbling, innocents were being killed in Salinas, there were rumblings of wrongdoing in Carmel, and the spirit of sustainability was being challenged by the realities being faced around the proverbial kitchen table discussions.
But hope was in the air, at least for those of us who supported our new president-to-be, and the promised drawdown of our misadventure in Iraq, which finally now looks like it’s coming (thankfully) to a close.
But few were deceived that any of these problems would go away, and they haven’t. (OK, there’s less open squabbling in Pacific Grove, except when it comes to the seemingly unobjectionable issue of passing a measure to support the local library.)
It’s the role of the press, whether in print or online, to cover, inform, offer explanations and, when possible, even solutions for some of these issues.
It’s been my privilege to be part of that conversation.
But now is the right time, personally and professionally, for me to step back from a direct role in that process, confident that my colleagues will continue to do the right thing, hustling hard to get you the best paper within their power, week after week.
To the readers who’ve been kind enough to personally let me know they appreciate the work that I and others at the paper have been doing, I express deep thanks. (Thanks also to those who shared scathing critiques; at least it meant that they care, which is half the battle.)
My own battle will be on a different field, at least for awhile, but I’ll be with you in spirit.
Thanks to each of you, and needless to say, to my co-workers at the paper.
It’s been a great ride, but it’s time to travel on.