"There are places I'll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these place have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all"
-- lyric, "In My Life" John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Here we are, gentle reader, together for one last visit. That Beatles song has been running through my head a great deal in the past few weeks as I make preparations to move into a new phase of my life.
Tomorrow is my final day at the Sentinel.
After nearly 15 years in Le Mars, my wife and I are picking up stakes and moving to be nearer to family. We will both be working for the Free-Press, a weekly newspaper in Amery, Wisc.
Amery is a rural town of just under 3,000 residents, a short hour drive from Minneapolis, where our daughters, son-in-law and granddaughter are living. It's a beautiful town with several lakes nearby, three in the city limits.
Yes, I realize that I will more than likely be freezing come the winter, but I'm OK with that. At least I can say that now when it is hot and humid outside.
I write this final column with many mixed emotions. I am sad to be leaving the many friends and business relationships formed during my time in Le Mars.
Le Mars has been very good to me and my family. I have great neighbors, my children received excellent educations here and I work with a truly great set of people.
I have proudly watched many of our younger writers and staff members mature and grow to the point where it is time for them to move on. I read their farewell columns along with you, filled with pride and pathos.
I never imagined that I would one day be writing one of my own.
So what would I like to leave you with?
My profound and sincere thanks. The experience here was wonderful.
Since I will very soon no longer be on the payroll, I would like to talk about the Sentinel and the people that sweat the small stuff to bring you this paper 254 times a year.
There are many misconceptions about newspapers. Some believe we are all-knowing and all-seeing people who choose to ignore, persecute or praise people at random.
Sorry folks, that simply isn't true.
We are people that pour over hundreds of details every day. Are the names spelled right? Are the ads right? Is this the best way to tell the story? Is this the best picture? We need to make sure to stop delivering that paper, they are on vacation. We need to celebrate the birth that we are announcing, or the big win, or the engagement, the wedding, the anniversary, the honor at work and even the entire life of a person when it ends.
The people who sweat these details five days a week are among the most dedicated group you will ever hope to meet. Will they make mistakes? Sure will. Will they get it right? You betcha. Will they care? Without a doubt.
Le Mars, you are fortunate to have one of the finest small market dailies in the state of Iowa, thanks to the efforts of these people.
Be proud of that. Help to make it even better by contributing ideas, advertising, subscribing and even telling the staff when they get it right.
All of these ways of positive reinforcement make an impact.
The entire process works so much better when you help.
I'd like to thank my co-workers who have done so much to establish our newspaper, website and brand. You may argue the point, but when it comes to knowing the facts, the Sentinel is where you turn.
Thanks to those who stuck it out when times were not so great. Thanks to those that embraced what we were doing. Your friendship and support has been treasured beyond measure.
I'd also like to thank you, gentle reader, for spending some time here every week.
I will miss our visits, as well.
Thanks for reading.