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His Next Adventure Begins Monday

Thank you, Sharon Patch readers, for two terrific years.

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 michaelh@patch.com.

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.

Go Eagles!

Gary S. Best July 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Thanx for making the Sharon Patch what it is today. And good luck with all your future endeavors - I know you will have just as much success there as you did here. You will be missed!
David Martin July 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Thanks Mike for your timely reporting on Sharon for the last two years. We'll miss seeing you around Town. Best of luck at your new job.
Kurt Buermann July 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Mike-- Have an excellent adventure! It has been great knowing and conferring with you on conservation and other issues. And thank you for introducing Sharon to its Patch! Now Sharonites have a priceless resource to commuicate and get to know each other and each other's concerns and interests. Wishing you all the best! ___ Kurt
Henry Saniuk, Jr. July 27, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Thank you so much Mike for everything that you've done with the Sharon Patch over the past two years. I've always loved coming here and finding out a random piece of information about our small town politics or events coming up in town. The Sharon Patch will hopefully continue on and become an even greater resource for Sharonites to debate issues and get to know their neighbors a little better. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors! Thank you again for all of your devotion to this small town! -Henry Jr.
Jeffrey Pickette (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Mike, as the neighboring Patch editor in Stoughton, it's been a pleasure working with you these last couple of years. Good luck in Westboro!
Benjamin Paulin (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Good luck Mike!
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Thanks, Gary. I'll miss Sharon a lot. This town has a lot to be proud of.
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Thanks, Dave. I'm going to miss seeing you at fire scenes and hearing about the Sharon historical projects. And my best to you and Gail as your marathon journey continues.
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Hi Kurt, Thanks ... You were one of the first people I met here, and I will always value that friendship. Joining the Friends of Conservation on trail walks was a lot of fun.
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Thanks, Henry. One of my greatest joys here has been watching Sharon students do some truly wonderful things. Keep it up.
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Thanks, Ben. You guys have been great to work with. I'll miss you all, but I'll be around.
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM
By the way, everyone ... I plan to answer everyone's posts here (although I spoke with Jeff a little while ago). So, keep the posts coming :).
Ellen Stone Bordman July 27, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Best wishes, Michael! As a newbie in Sharon, I really appreciated the local news you reported here!
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Thanks, Ellen. I really enjoy local news. My top story list is actually much longer than today's Five Things. And I've got Sharon's Back to School coverage and a few features coming before I'm done writing here.
Brian Hemmert July 27, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Best of luck Mike! I've enjoyed partnering with you on Sharon Patch. Go rock Westborough!!
Linda Rosen July 27, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Best of luck Michael. Thanks for all your hard work in Sharon. Especially now that I've retired from working for the Town, I've really appreciated your timely news reports. Good luck in your future endeavor
Todd Arnold July 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Michael....it's been a pleasure to get to know you. Best of luck in your adventures and I do hope the new editor is as open minded as yourself as well as a fondness for sports as you do! .....Go gettem' Is there a Patch in Rutland yet? :)
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Thanks, Brian. I'm eager to see how much Westborough has changed since I was a kid. And the winters should be a riot :).
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Thanks, Linda. And thank you for your help with health department matters. It was huge.
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Thanks, Todd. I'll be rooting for the Eagles from afar ... And thankful that Sharon and Westborough won't face each other ... Westborough vs. my Wachusett Mountaineers, on the other hand ... No Rutland Patch yet. But, I am hoping to get home by November, and promise to share photos on Sharon Patch's Facebook page. I haven't been back in more than two years.
Paul Lauenstein July 28, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Michael, you did an outstanding job widening readership of the Patch in Sharon, and changing the way Sharonites get their news and share their experiences and ideas. Having an interactive and instantaneous local news medium is a game changer. Best of luck in your next endeavor!
Deena Segal July 29, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Michael, Thank you so much for bringing us the Sharon Patch, your dedication and your timely updates. We will miss you and wish you all best in your new endeavors at Westborough. Deena Segal
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 29, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Thanks, Deena. You and Len have been good friends. Hard to believe Monday is almost here.
Michael Gelbwasser (Editor) July 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Thanks, Paul, I feel very fortunate. Sharon is an amazing community to cover. There's never a shortage of stories here. I hope readers will continue sharing ideas through the site. I'll be watching ...
Yoni Monat July 30, 2012 at 02:34 AM
An editor planted seeds in a small Sharon Patch He and Sharon were the perfect match Every story he did snatch And cook into a tasty batch No article took a back seat He was always there, on the beat He completely covered them all Basketball, football, baseball The headlines grabbed our attention without fail And the stories included every crucial detail He covered town board meetings Where he let you see things He would always scoop the story But never took any glory His efforts were above and beyond To every happening he would respond All across Sharon, he was everywhere Turn around, and there he was, out of thin air All of his stories were filled with meat On his rivals, he turned up the heat A commitment to Sharon right till the end His journalistic integrity would never bend His coverage was very thorough He now takes his talents to Westborough The past two years been quite a thrill He leaves very large shoes to fill He will be greatly missed by all With fond memories he will be recalled Sharon's loss is Westborough's gain This ends a truly remarkable reign The Man, The Myth, The Legend is quite the adapter All the best as he begins a new chapter In Sharon, he hit for the cycle In Westborough - much success, Michael!
Tatiana Roulin July 30, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Michael, good luck with all your future endeavors and new start in Westborough Patch. Thank you very much for making the Sharon Patch what it is today and special thanks for featuring all our Sharon Art Events.:) You definitely will be missed here in Sharon! I also, along with Todd Arnold, do hope the new editor is as open minded as yourself. Best of luck.
Sharon July 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Michael, I missed this story until Deena mentioned it to me. I want to thank you for bringing News to Sharon while it is still relevant, something we never had before! You've done a great job here and we appreciate all that you have done to get Patch off the ground and positioned as the place to go for current info on Sharon. We will miss you, and wish you great success in your next venture. Len

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