It’s with excitement and a somewhat heavy heart that I write this, my final column for the Daily American Republic. Yep! You read that correctly … my final column.
After nearly 27-1/2 years, I am retiring from the DAR and the newspaper industry. My original plan never was to retire at this point in my life; I figured I would be a newspaper writer until the day I signed up for Social Security.
But, plans change. Much to my surprise, I was recruited by another organization whose staff members believed the skill set I have honed during my career and the contacts I have developed would be an asset they would like to see join their team. So, I will be joining their team later this month.
As I look back, I can’t even begin to count the number of articles I have written or the number of average citizens and emergency responders I have interviewed. I’m sure it would rank in the tens of thousands.
Just know that I am truly grateful to each and every person who has allowed me to share their story … sometimes it’s been a happy one, and sometimes it’s been tragic, but every one was worth telling. So, thank you for putting your faith and trust in me to take your words, emotions and thoughts and craft them into something worthy of publication.
And, thank you to my network of news sources from across our seven-county readership area and beyond. It’s a group I affectionately have referred to as “my people” throughout the years. Please know I am so very grateful for the trust you have instilled in me. You have made my job so much easier, and each of you will be truly missed.
To our readers … I send each of you a heartfelt thank you for subscribing to the DAR or picking up a copy each day for a chance to read what I have written over the years. I’m not naive, I know there are some who haven’t liked what I have written, but thank you just the same.
And, finally to my colleagues at the DAR … It’s been a ride. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we always have managed to get the job done. I wish each of you, as well as the newspaper, nothing but continued success in the future.
One co-worker told me after my retirement was announced that she didn’t know whether to be happy or cry. I told to her that we would be doing some of both before I left, and that wasn’t an exaggeration.
Try as I might, I couldn’t keep from shedding a few tears as I wrote this column, and I’m sure many, many more will be shed as I say my goodbyes in the next few days. But, mixed with those tears will be some excitement as I look forward to beginning my next career …
Michelle Friedrich is a soon-to-be retired staff writer for the Daily American Republic and until Friday, Jan. 15, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .