Or, how I jumped off the merry-go-round
As a journalism grad many years ago, I had many choices for employment. I first fell into technical writing, and then after a winding career that included marketing, copyediting and advertising, I have found myself working as a reporter the last few years. It turned out to be quite an adventure.
The experiences I had as a reporter are now somewhat of a blur. So many stories and faces flash by; it’s like being on a very fast merry-go-round.
I’ve now decided to jump off the merry-go-round, hoping I don’t land awkwardly and injure myself. I hesitate to say “retirement” because that sounds like I’m just going to drive around all day with my turn signal on. I’ll be doing somethingI’ve now decided to jump off the merry-go-round, hoping I don’t land awkwardly and injure myself. I hesitate to say “retirement” because that sounds like I’m just going to drive around all day with my turn signal on. I’ll be doing something. You’re likely to see my byline in the Observer. I’ll be doing Real Estate and maybe other things in the future.
The best thing about reporting is seeing things you never would see otherwise. I was at Ormond Memorial Art Museum when local men who had served in the U.S. military in France during World War II were presented a Legion of Honor medal by the French government. Local residents, who were French citizens during the war, told the American soldiers what it meant to see them liberate their town. It was an honor to be there.
I read a book by National Geographic writers once, which had the theme, “You always take something with you and you leave something behind.” This means you always have a memory after covering a story, and your work has some type of effect on the subject.
I’m taking a lot with me.
I remember a family at a folding table outside their burned-out house, dusting off the ashes of treasured items they had recovered.
I remember walking on the beach on a Thanksgiving weekend, asking what people were thankful for and hearing their stories.
I remember being in the home of a family where the son had cancer with a dire prognosis. I could feel the love, hope and faith in the room.
I remember the enthusiasm of new business owners as they entered an exciting chapter of their lives.
I remember a business owner closing his doors because of the online shopping trend.
I remember a conversation at a table outside a coffee shop. A man who went from a life of crime to counseling people in spirituality told me about his journey and how he finally found peace. He died of a heart attack two days later.
I remember some glorious sunrises, walking with Ormond Strong over the Granada Bridge. One morning, a dog that belonged to one of the walkers heeled with me perfectly all the way across the bridge and back. I have no idea why that sticks with me.
I remember talking to artists, learning their philosophies of life and art.
So, to all you Ormond Beachers, I want to say a big thank you for returning my phone calls, and I hope anything I left behind was beneficial.