There’s a rumor running amok that I’m retiring. It’s no rumor; it’s true.
That may shock some of you, but I guess I’ve shocked a lot of folks in this community many times before. That’s just my style.
My tenure as publisher of the Richmond Register will end June 21. I’ve had a good run. Being publisher of the Richmond Register has been very rewarding. Without a doubt, these have been the best of my 40 years in the newspaper business.
The decision to retire is among the toughest I’ve ever made. I certainly will miss parts of my job, although there are many parts I won’t miss.
During the past two years my job, has gotten busier, with changes in our sales and business departments, and all of that change takes a mental toll. As they say, it’s time to smell the roses.
I’ve had the longest tenure of any publisher at the Richmond Register in many years. Candidly, I’ve been here for more years than I thought I would.
During that time, we’ve won many Kentucky Press Association awards. Since 2006, we’ve had three first-place awards, two second-place awards and a third-place award in the General Excellence category. I’m proud of that record and even more proud of the employees who made it happen. They’ve made it look easy.
Shoot, even this old publisher won a second-place award for best editorial — not bad for someone who had never written a column or editorial before becoming publisher.
I guess my proudest achievement began with a question years ago — I don't recall the year — when I spoke at the Exchange Club. By the way, they are a tough bunch of guys, so be ready for anything if you have the opportunity to speak with them.
Someone asked: Five years from now, when you look back, what would you like to have accomplished?
The answer was easy: The Richmond Register will have made a huge difference in this community and have made it a better place to live.
I believe we did that, and I’m proud of it.
I have many people to thank. The most important is my wife, Bonnie. She has been there for me all the way, in good times and bad. I love her dearly for that. I couldn’t have found a more wonderful person with whom to grow old and smell the roses.
Employees, past and present, of the Richmond Register have been wonderful. I thank them from the bottom of my heart, and I wish them all the best as they continue without me. They are dedicated to producing a newspaper that this community desperately needs and can be proud of.
I hope you will continue to support the Richmond Register, so that it may continue to inform, educate and keep our governments honest.
We need your support more now than ever, as all newspapers work through a fragile economic environment. The Richmond Register must endure because it’s hard to imagine a community without a public watchdog.
I should thank many others, but there are so many. If you are one of them, thank you for your support all these years. Without reader feedback and encouragement, this newspaper would not be where it is today. I would not be who I am today.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your daily lives. It’s been a real pleasure.
Only time will tell what’s next for me. I plan to take much needed time to recharge and find the passion to once again make a difference. We are not leaving Richmond. This is our home.
With time, I believe doors will open so that I may stay involved and continue working to make this community a better place to work and live. I’m not interested in riding off into the sunset.
This is not my farewell column. There will be others, because I must let Trouble have one last ride, if you know what I mean.
Reflections from the publisher
There’s a rumor running amok that I’m retiring. It’s no rumor; it’s true.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
‘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.”
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).
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.
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.
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.
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