Working in community news is a lot like being Dr. Samuel Beckett from that classic NBC science fiction series, "Quantum Leap."
You’re always entering people’s lives, trying to make a difference. Never knowing when your next adventure will bring you home.
Today, dear readers, is my last Friday as Sharon Patch editor.
Monday, I become editor of Westborough Patch. Regional Editor Michael Hardman will take over as interim editor. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In some ways, like Sam Beckett, I’m leaping toward home.
Westborough is about 45 minutes away from my hometown of Rutland.
The change comes about two weeks before the first anniversary of at home last Aug. 11.
And when the opportunity presented itself to do what I’ve enjoyed doing full time for 20 years closer to home, I pursued it.
The move also enables me to start volunteering in a way that honors my Dad.
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing something at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, where my father taught chemistry and math for 45 years before retiring two summers ago.
The Mount was one of the places I grew up. I fondly remember my Dad taking us with him to school, first at the old place with the giant chair on the front lawn and then at the current campus, where we swam and shot baskets.
At the same time, I will miss Sharon deeply.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we launched Sharon Patch on Oct. 5, 2010, the first Patch in this area.
It was my first editor gig.
I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past two years. I hear more and more that Sharon residents are relying on Sharon Patch for their news about this beautiful town.
A number of people lately have said they’ve admired the passion I’ve brought to my work.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.
My Dad always stressed effort. He accepted bad grades when he knew we had studied. A D because we mailed it in disappointed him.
If a student worked hard and then had some personal matters arise, he gladly left a make-up test. If a student never showed up until the end of the semester, he dismissed them.
My father’s death is the worst tragedy I’ve ever faced. I am very fortunate that I had this community to help me cope.
I remember telling Bob Sondheim shortly after this that I felt the town was looking out for me. And he replied, "Yes, we are."
I will treasure watching the Sharon High School Eagles varsity teams play. Especially the state tournament games and last Thanksgiving's football game.
I will miss the coaches. And hanging out at the gym and in Sondo's office. And then losing to Isaac in the Great Sharon Shootout (but I still have the T-shirt).
And talking with the school folks.
And visiting at town hall (primarily with Bill Fowler and the health department crew), the library and the adult center. And visiting Shirley Schofield at the historical society museum.
And walking in Post Office Square and being stopped by people wanting to just say hello.
And the summer concerts.
And the Sharon Five.
And the Camera War with Wilson Cho.
And the students.
And my colleagues here. Some great reporting is happening in Sharon's neighbors. I encourage people to check it out.
This kid from a town of 8,700 will always treasure this town of 18,000.