There’s something in my mother’s house that reminds me why journalism is so important.
Tacked up on her bulletin board is a clipping from our hometown paper, The Baxter Bulletin, from the fall of 1984. It’s a photo of me. I’m watching the county fair parade, smiling and wearing face paint. My toddler excitement is documented forever in black ink on yellowing paper. It reminds me of my favorite quote: “Man builds no structure which outlives a book.” (Thank you to the poet Eugene Fitch Ware.) Words and pictures last forever, even when our memories fade.
I’ve worked at The Oklahoman for nine years, and today is my last day. This will be my last entry on the Red Dirt Ruckus blog.
I’ve had the chance to write about everything from education to government to bacon. I’ve covered an execution down in McAlester. I’ve covered the wreckage left behind by tornadoes and wildfires. I’ve written about kittens and clowns and pie. I’ve seen the best of people, and I’ve seen the worst, too. I’ve stayed awake thinking about the best way to explain something or tell a story. I’ve stayed awake worrying that I made a mistake.
Next week, I’ll begin my new career: teaching.
I’m teaching journalism at Putnam City North High School. My goal is to coach my replacements.
Make no doubt about it: I still love reporting and writing, and I still love The Oklahoman. And I am excited to start a new part of my life.
Thanks for reading.