Thanks for the memories

Published 2:46 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three years ago, I was a college senior with nothing more than a couple of a writing samples and a list of references when I first walked into the doors of the Suffolk News-Herald.

Doug Grant was editor at the time, and I had just finished an internship with Suffolk Public Schools.

As part of my duties there, I would write articles for the division newsletter, which was sent out to local media outlets in case they wanted to run with one of the stories.

At the end of my summer with the schools, I got an email from Doug, saying he was impressed with some of the articles I had written and wanted to see if I wanted a job working for the paper.

I had yet to take my first journalism class in school.

I had no idea what AP style was.

But I also knew I was being offered a chance of a lifetime, and I would be an idiot to turn it down.

In August of 2006, I wrote my first article for the Suffolk News-Herald, about a dance troop coming to town. Since that time, there have been more than 1,000 stories to follow and plenty of room needed to make up in my learning curve.

There have been countless misspelled names, typos, comma splices and even wrong data thrown into hastily written articles.

And every morning after I read/caught any one of my many mistakes, I would (and still do) walk to my desk, self-consciously stare at my next day’s assignments and wonder why on earth Doug ever sent that e-mail to me in the first place.

After all my cumulative hours and hours of contemplating, I still cannot come up with the reason that Doug clicked that send button, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am the better for him having done so.

It’s a rare thing working for a newspaper like the Suffolk News-Herald. The paper has been around since 1873 — it has seen and reported on every major (and minor) event happening in the city for more than a century, and it will probably continue to do so for more than a century after us. But for a brief moment, my colleagues and I get to be a part of this publication’s history.

In this job, I have had the chance to meet with incredible men and women of our city, meet national and regional leaders and get to talk with people I never would have had the opportunity to do so otherwise (Here’s looking at you, Bo Bice).

I’ve also been able to work alongside people who consistently challenged me; made me laugh, made me think and made me better.

It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of this staff and be a part of your newspaper for the past three years. But this will be my last column for the News-Herald, for at least the foreseeable future.

A new job and challenge awaits me in Virginia Beach. It’s a little exciting and a little scary — much like my first time walking through these doors. For the rest of the week, I’ll be finishing up some last remaining stories and transitioning back to the beach. I just hope that as I take on this new opportunity I’ll have a community as supportive, as forgiving and as encouraging as you.

Thanks, again, for everything, Suffolk, and here’s to your next century of news!