They say that all good things must come to an end, and my time in Wyoming with Wyoming Newspapers has been a very good thing. And so it is with a bittersweet smile, I pack and I am off.
If you are reading this, then, the rumor has come true and I am gone. But hopefully not forgotten.
And for all my time-management skills and organization expertise, these past three weeks have flown so fast that I have not had enough time to finish all my assignments and reach out to each of you in Platte County who have been so instrumental in my journey and my healing.
When I came to Platte County, I knew absolutely nobody. All I knew was the voice of my publisher Rob Mortimore who hired me sight-unseen to be a journalist for both the Record-Times and the Guernsey Gazette. I had been away from the newspaper business for over a year and wondered how or if I could “get back on the horse,” so to speak.
The destined point to getting back on the horse of course was to move me to Wyoming and turn me into a cowboy. It made no sense, but somehow it worked. A new start coming from a wounded spirit, I met people who I now consider to be health care workers because all of you were instrumental in boosting my spirit, healing my heart and making me believe in myself again.
How can I ever repay all the kindness, the respect, the love you have given me? I simply cannot. You have been my Camelot and although there are minor skirmishes and small blow-ups from time to time, it reminded me of family where those things happen.
You care for outsiders as if they were your own. You defend to the death, the ideals that made America great. You made me feel as if I’d hung the moon when in reality, all I did was publish words. And as I look back while I take the two day drive to Arizona, I will cry a little. I will ponder what it all meant to me and most of all I will have a big, dumb smile on my face as I remember dancing on my desk to Timmy the Trumpet.
I will remember the parades through town, honking horns and shouting people. I will remember fireworks that rocked the neighborhoods and of course, Macy Jones acrobatics in left field of the first-ever softball season in Wyoming. And how the faces of our children changed so much so that we didn’t recognize them… after they came out of the pig wrestling arena.
We went through COVID together, we sang together in the senior centers and at Lewis Park in 102-degree weather. We watched bears run down the streets of Wheatland and cruised in the face of a pandemic. We weathered a historic snowfall and witnessed the power of community to dig each other out. We were part of top-ranked school system that has more kids gathering more trophies and hardware than any school I’ve ever been associated with.
I can’t possibly get to all of you to thank you. That makes me sad. Facebook, Messenger and my Phone blew up with over 300 messages and well-wishes and kind words that brought tears to my eyes. Never before had I ever met a people or a county of people who made me feel more like family.
It was a magical place for me. I joke about working for 10 more years and then coming back to Platte County to retire. You think I’m kidding. But what I leave behind is my heart and about 10 years is all I can take of being without all of you.
We wear our hats with one hand on top when the wind is contrary. We wear our hearts on our denim sleeves. We marvel at skies and sunsets not seen in any other state. We have a Facebook grapevine that is second to none. We love.
That is the most powerful thing I can say about Platte County. We know how to love. You taught me that. And as a result… I shall love you forever. Farewell my friends.