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End of the line

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by dixiehack, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Even when you know it is coming, your last night in journalism is the oddest feeling on earth.

    After seven years and four papers, I figured I had this moving on thing down cold. I was at this paper for 40 months, and all but the first 10 were part time, since I decided to go back to school and finish my undergrad degree. I liked my editor and co-workers, but I wasn't as close to them as I had been at previous stops. And then there's the elusive promise of a "normal" job with sane hours and the self-respect that supposedly comes with not compiling Little League capsules for a living.

    And yet with all that, tonight was tremendously bittersweet.

    I've said my goodbyes and exchanged the usual promises of "keep in touch" that are largely untrue, no matter how much we may wish otherwise. I have this board, where I definitely plan to keep in touch. But already, I feel like an outsider. More than once, I've described this job to civilians as being part of the world's greatest fraternity. Now I'm a civilian. This has been my identity for most of my adult life, and now it's over. Hell, I didn't even know whether to put this on the journalism board or here.

    Leaving the business is the right thing for me professionally and personally. My son deserves a more devoted dad, and my wife deserves a non-absentee husband. But there's always going to be a part of me wondering how far I could have taken this ride, especially if I had stayed in school the first time and played the game the right way.

    But even with doing this all wrong, I've had a blast. I talked my way into becoming an editor at a podunk weekly on the strength of one fan site Web article and the fact that the ME was my best friend. I did well enough at it (and had my mistakes obscured enough) that I made the jump to a little 5-day weekly, then went on to a couple of 20k-circulation papers. It's not much in the grand scheme, but it still took a lot of hustling.

    And along the way, I've gotten to sit beside rock star beat writers and columnists from the largest of the large papers in NFL press boxes. I've had the chance to witness the craziness of Valdosta High football, which is as bigtime as it can get while still involving homeroom. I've seen pressure packed state title games and frozen my ass off covering soccer doubleheaders that drew 20 people to a 10,000-seat stadium. I've detoured around 5-alarm fires in strange cities to file game stories on impossible deadlines. I've managed to spark a great quote from Steve Spurrier with a press conference question and pissed off superintendants by aggressively reporting coaching searches. I've sifted through acres of copy during a minor league pennant chase and produced order out of chaos. And I've busted my tail to try and wring decent stories out of mixed martial arts tournaments, lawnmower racing and adult softball all-star games, all in the same week.

    It was a hell of a time. I will miss it always.
  2. DisembodiedOwlHead

    DisembodiedOwlHead Active Member

    Never forget, you're my Dixiehack Delight
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Beat it, outsider. :D

    That's a great post. Best of luck in your new gig. We'll still let you slum here.
  4. Almost_Famous

    Almost_Famous Active Member

    Dude, it doesn't have to be over.

    There's this thing called freelancing ...
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

  6. lono

    lono Active Member

    Congrats, Dixiehack.

    Don't forget us little people when you'vee made something of yourself. :)
  7. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    I could never totally understand what Bowie was singing.
    And now I don't know what the heck he was singing about.
    Thanks for that.
  8. sgaleadfoot

    sgaleadfoot Member

    what? no mention of a local fishin' report? ;)

    best of luck and hope all goes well down the road.
  9. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Good luck with the new career, D-hack.

    And please don't let my wife get wind of this, or else I'm done for, too. ;)
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Welcome to Milo's.

    May I take your order please?

    ;) ;)
  11. Seabasket

    Seabasket Active Member

    Sad part of that?
    Better pay.
  12. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    The hell you say. It's Bruno's bag boy or bust.
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