The Richmond Register


February 9, 2013

Saying goodbye to my second family

RICHMOND — The fact that I’m writing this column to say goodbye is so surreal. It’s hard for me to even put down into words that Friday is my last day at the Richmond Register. After almost nine years, it still feels like yesterday when I cried the whole way back to work after a meeting at the Blue Grass Army Depot. The acronyms and large, unfamiliar words were terrifying.

I can remember feeling hopeless after a lengthy Berea City Council meeting. What would be my lead? Where do I even start?

In a community with three government bodies, and more than 500 tons of warfare agent (which were ALL my beats) I thought I was going to drown before I made it up for air.

Despite my nervous and desperate start, I somehow survived.

It was former Register editor Jim Todd who taught me to “work smarter, not harder.” That was and still is a must-have skill to survive at a daily newspaper with so many beats to cover.

Lorie Love Hailey, who was editor after Todd, taught me that not every agenda item of a three-hour-long meeting had to be included in the story. That’s when I created the motto I still live by today when it comes to stories which have the potential to be really long: “If I get tired writing it, readers will get tired reading it!”

My boss today, editor Bill Robinson, has been and still is more than a boss ― he’s a friend. However, this friend happens to be a walking historical encyclopedia and knows everyone in Madison County, which organizations they’re affiliated with and where their children went to school.

Bill is one of the most compassionate, understanding bosses I’ve ever had and I want to say “thanks” Bill.

Register Publisher Nick Lewis has stuck with me through some sticky situations and has never failed to provide me with the support and encouragement I needed to thrive as a reporter. I thank him for his leadership and for standing firm through many changes here at the newspaper.

Then there’s my newsroom family: news writers Crystal Wylie and Sarah Hogsed, photographer Kaitlin Keane and page designers Carrie Curry, Liz Denny and bless his heart, Roy Varney. He’ll know what that means! I’m not joking when I call these guys my family. We’ve all shared each other’s happy times, sad times, frustrations, accomplishments and failures. We stand behind one another when the media become a target for nasty words and scathing letters to the editor ― that’s just part of being in the business. I love you all dearly and will continue to do so.

There are people I dearly love spread all throughout the Register office, and they know who they are!

Having worked so closely with people from various sectors of the community, I must acknowledge my appreciation for all of those involved in Madison County, Richmond and Berea governments. You have all worked well with me, and I truly appreciate that. To members of law enforcement and fire protection services,  including the Richmond and Berea police and fire departments, Madison County Sheriff’s Department and county fire department and the Kentucky State Police ― I thank you all for your cooperation and for helping me do my job. I also thank those with the Blue Grass Army Depot, Chemical Materials Agency, Madison County Emergency Management Agency and the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program. Thanks for being patient with me as I work to get the story straight and also for explaining all those darn acronyms!

As of Feb. 18, I will be employed at Eastern Kentucky University serving as the social marketing and communications specialist for Kentucky SEED (System to Enhance Early Development). The organization stems from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and provides resources to children with mental health needs and their families. I am really excited about this opportunity to expand upon my career, while doing what I feel God put me here to do ― help people.

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  • 06.29 CrystalFarewell.jpg Starting over at Head Start

    All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
    I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ike Adams They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days

    I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
    At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
    I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth

    When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
    Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.

    June 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate

    Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
    His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Senate campaign already in full bloom

    Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
    Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
    McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG ‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’

    What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
    Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association

    Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
    Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Hitting the campaign trail

    The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
    We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
    McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case of the scary black cat

    If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
    Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.

    May 10, 2014

  • Ike Adams Basking in the spring sunshine

    If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
    I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

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