My friends: We did it. We weren’t just marking time. We made a difference. … All in all, not bad, not bad at all.
— Ronald Reagan, farewell address, Jan. 11, 1989
I’ve been reflecting on that quote for a few weeks.
Actually, it’s something that stuck in my head when I first heard it, and it makes its way to the forefront every now and then.
One of those times was earlier this month when I was offered and accepted a job with the Business Examiner in Tacoma, Wash.
I thought about what CSBJ was like when I walked into the office during February 2004, and I also thought about what it’s like now.
Five years ago, the CSBJ newsroom was non-existent. We got by on a wing and a prayer, with the help a few devoted freelance writers.
Fortunately, corporate opened its checkbook during the ensuing years, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to build and oversee what I consider to be a top-notch group of reporters.
We’ve had our share of growing pains, and we’ve also made our share of mistakes along the way, but I think it would be tough to argue that the paper you’re reading today isn’t better than it was five years ago.
But I can’t give myself all the credit for that.
I’ve been blessed to be able to work with some very talented reporters.
Love him or hate him, John Hazlehurst knows more about this city than just about anybody. When I interviewed him for the job, he told me that he knows where all the bodies were buried and had even helped dig a few of the graves.
I believed him then, and I truly believe him now.
Becky Hurley is right behind John as far as being a fount of local knowledge. Not only does she seem to know just about everyone, but she can rattle off their telephone numbers without missing a beat.
I’d also be willing to wager that she is more tapped into the construction and real estate market than some of the folks in the industry.
Amy Gillentine took a while settling into a beat after she joined the team, but her knowledge and understanding of local and national health care issues has been invaluable — especially during the past year with all the wrangling going on in Washington, D.C.
It’s also been nice to have another Southerner in the office — especially one who thinks growing up south of Memphis somehow takes Mississippi out of the equation.
Rebecca Tonn joined the company as a reporter from the Fort Carson newspaper, and once made the bold statement that she’d never want to work for CSBJ.
Well, she changed her mind, and I know our banking and finance coverage is better for it.
Scott Prater only spends one day a week in the office, he’s nearly a full-time reporter for the paper at Schriever Air Force Base, but he never fails to find something new and interesting to report about in his retail column.
Rob Larimer joined CSBJ as a reporter. A few years ago, I ruined his life and promoted him to managing editor. He’s coming into his own, but looking back, I know there are so many more things I should have taught him.
Sorry about leaving the training unfinished, Rob.
I’ve been in Colorado Springs nearly twice as long as I’ve spent at any other paper. And perhaps a new set of eyes and a fresh approach will do both CSBJ and the BE some good.
There are too many people to thank for their help, encouragement and friendship during the last six years, so I hope no one will feel slighted by a blanket statement of appreciation.
I know that I’m better for the time I’ve spent in Colorado Springs. My hope is that the paper is better as well.
I spent a lot of time wondering how I was going to wrap up this final scribbling. I thought about, “Goodbye, Farewell, Amen,” but they used that for the title of the last episode of M*A*S*H.
So, I guess a little Green Day will have to suffice.
Another turning point;
a fork stuck in the road.
Time grabs you by the wrist;
directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test
and don’t ask why.
It’s not a question
but a lesson learned in time.
It’s something unpredictable
but in the end it’s right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
Mike Boyd is editor of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com or 329-5206.