In about an hour, I will finish writing stories, assembling all the photos, editing all the stories written by me and others, writing headlines and photo captions and sorting everything into folders on my computer.
I’ll upload each folder to our company dropbox. Kathie will proofread everything later this morning, and Angela will then do the layout. By afternoon, she’ll send us both a PDF to check for correct photo credits, last-minute grammatical corrections, page numbers, and any other final issues.
We will correct it, sign off on it, and by 5 p.m. it will go to the press, where overnight it will be printed, folded, bundled and dropped off for distribution.
It’s actually been a good week; I had about half of the work done before I even sat down, because we posted a lot of stuff about election results and National Night Out early in the week.
It’s also been a good week because I got to work on some great stuff.
A musician acquaintance sent me a text message at about midnight Thursday. He was soon to reopen the old Monroe Golf Course as a Frisbee golf course; did I want to write about it?
Of course I did. One of the first and best stories I ever did was about the impromptu wedding of Ronda and Oliver Murphy there, when the clubhouse was Nana Carmela’s. I wrote about it when the restaurant’s owner, Jim Taranto, planned to reopen the course himself, then again when the property owner, Mike Mastro, went spectacularly bankrupt to the tune of about half a billion dollars.
I spent much of Friday morning playing my first ever game of disc golf and walking the grounds of a beloved piece of Monroe history. This is a great job.
Earlier in the week I was out on the racetrack, watching drift racecar driver Eddie Gonzalez gleefully send a white cloud of smoke billowing across the track from his burning tires. I’ve written about drift racing a number of times. It’s a popular sport in Monroe, and it’s never a chore to visit the track and write about fast cars; although that story is likely going to have to run next week for lack of room.
National Night Out was a treat Tuesday night, too. I wrote about it when it was cancelled during the recession, when it was revived by the Monroe Rotary Club, and this year I get to write about it hitting record attendance numbers.
It seems everything in the paper this week is fraught with memories. Jim Scolman sent photos of the season’s third triathlon of the summer. I remember when the very first triathlon came to town.
I’m writing about the parade, and it too has grown this year. Abbey Aney will be a Junior Marshall at the parade this year in honor of the girl’s many years of running toy drives for other children. I remember when I first met her years ago, standing outside Haight Carpet in the chilly December air, collecting donations of cash and toys for the food bank.
And how many times have I written about the fair?
We have a new editor coming. That person won’t have long to learn the job; I’m leaving Wednesday on a 7,000-mile tour of the United States with my new trio. But Kathie and Chris and Dan and Jim will all be there, and so I have faith it will go well.
I beg of everyone to offer the new editor lots of support and patience. It’s going to take a while to meet everyone and learn all the narratives and back stories.
Today was the first day I started to get really excited about my new adventure, instead of just feeling sad about leaving this one. I went to the University Bookstore and it all really started to sink in. I’m going back to that surreally beautiful campus at the University of Washington in a month, to start a PhD program. I will be helping teach a class in public speaking. It’s time to buy backpacks and pens and pencils. I even indulged myself with a nice new gold UW decal for my car window.
Usually I find myself hurrying at this hour, trying to get the paper done before dawn so I can get some sleep before I have to proofread it later in the day.
I’m dawdling with my jazz on the stereo and my coffee, writing my last-ever Editor’s Notebook.
I guess I’m not quite ready for it all to end.
But I doubt very much my Sky Valley adventure is actually over. It, too, is only changing. I’m remaining a member of the Monroe Rotary Club. I love those guys. And I certainly hope the new editor will find some use for me as a freelance writer.
So for the next two weeks, I’m just going to enjoy the first two weeks in 10 years that I haven’t had to assemble a newspaper on a Sunday.
And then I’ll be itching to find out what is happening, get caught up, and see what more there is to write.
Thank you again, everyone of the Sky Valley, for 10 great years.
Kathie’s note: We will be publishing a tribute to Polly Keary in the Aug. 19 Monroe Monitor. Please share your memories, photos and/or well-wishes to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday at noon for possible publication. Thanks so much!