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Moving on to new directions


(EDITOR’S NOTE: Also see the article about the Bulletin’s new incoming Managing Editor Algernon D’Ammassa.)

In my 13-plus years with the Las Cruces Bulletin, I’ve written more than 600 columns. Some have been serious, some have been light-hearted, some have been educational (I hope), and a lot have been about sports.

Some of them take several weeks to come together. Others are written in a matter of minutes.

However, none have them have been more difficult to write than this one.

This is my farewell column with the Bulletin; my last day on the job will be Dec. 14.

I’m not leaving Las Cruces, and I’m not retiring or leaving for another job, at least not right away. But I am looking forward to some real time off.

At my first professional newspaper job, as sports editor of the Weatherford (Oklahoma) Daily News, I sold an ad.

That wasn’t typical for a sports editor, and the advertiser wasn’t typical either.

R.H. Templeton was older than my grandfather at the time, and repaired and tuned pianos. I created a business-card size ad that featured piano keys and some very simple info. He liked the ad, ran it regularly, and it brought him new business.

After I’d been at the newspaper for about a year, I was contemplating leaving the job to spend a few months traveling the country with a good friend. Discussing this possibility with Mr. Templeton, he didn’t offer a recommendation, and I didn’t seek one.

He did say this: “I’ve found in life, I don’t really have any regrets about the things I did. But I have a lot of regrets about the things I didn’t do.”

I left the newspaper and took the trip. It changed my life in multiple ways, including setting the path that would eventually bring me to New Mexico.

Since I returned from that trip and took my next journalism job, I’ve taken very little time off.

I took a two-week road trip in 1990 to travel the Northeast and visit eight baseball parks from Philadelphia to Chicago. In 1996, I took a two-week trip that included a visit to Hawaii. In most years, though, I’ve given up more vacation time than I’ve used.

Back in February and March, I spent my Lenten season thinking, praying, researching and talking with others about a possible career change. I had no urgency to leave, but I was interested in exploring a new chapter of my life.

And now the exploring begins.

I’ve loved the work here at the Bulletin, and I believe we’ve made a difference in the lives of people in Las Cruces. That will continue with the great team currently assembled here at the Bulletin.

And as much as the work, I’ve loved getting to know the wonderful people of the Mesilla Valley. That will continue as well, and I look forward to new challenges and adventures in support of the best things in Las Cruces.