Git, while the getting's good

My last column for my former paper ran on Sunday.
I guess I surprised a few folks by not going out in an incendiary tirade of burnt bridges (yes, once, when I was young and much more hostile, I told a boss who let me go in a layoff situation that I was going to watch the obituaries and piss on his grave), but seriously, what would be the point?
Bashing will not be part of The Tension, either. There's no economy in doing so.
Truth is, I didn't necessarily want to leave Northern California. I made a life here, friends. But when the new management team makes it very clear that you're not needed or wanted, well, it was time to start looking around for pastures a bit more green. Going to a place where your skills - and your personality - are coveted, well that's quite the ego stroke.

I guess what surprises me the most is that so far, 34 people have taken the time to email and wish me luck. People I've worked with since I came to NorCal 11 years ago and people who just wanted to say hi, or thanks. A sampling:

"You're the third of my three favorite writers at The Record Searchlight that have left this past year...But I want to tell you I'll miss you more since you are such a wonderful writer. I thoroughly enjoyed and loved your pieces on the outdoors. Having lived here for 10 years now, we've come to appreciate the beauty of this area. We don't hike, camp, fish, hunt or do sports but loved reading your wonderful essays on the great outdoors. You embraced it all. You were never 'preachy' or political. You were able to describe the experiences of bird lovers, hikers, fishermen and women, boaters, bikers, hunters etc. From my perspective you made your readers appreciate and respect our beautiful environment and that there is room for all. You were able to truly write about what you saw and felt and share it with us."

“We first read of your news of your new job in S. Dakota thru Doni's column on her Web site. At that time we said, ‘Oh no, another exceptional writer is leaving the RS.’ Your columns have been our favorites to read every Sunday. You have caused us to become ‘mad clippers’ of hikes or out door information. Thank you so much for all you've given to our community You will be missed... our great loss is S. Dakota's gain. We do wish you well in your new adventure. Every move is a growing experience - you'll certainly enjoy all that that state has to offer and my, how the readers will enjoy learning through your columns. Good Luck... Boo Hoo we'll miss you!!!”

“Just wanted to say that it has been a pleasure knowing you, and reading about all of your adventures. I have never been much of a sports enthusiast, but I have learned a lot from your stories. You can teach an old dog new tricks.”

“Your departure will leave a big hole in the north state. You have always done a great job covering fish and wildlife issues -smacking us when we deserved it and supporting us when we earned it. Keep ‘em honest out there (G)!”

A good cry is sometimes hard to come by. Not lately. This is why I feel so blessed to be able to do what I do.
And friends? They're forever.


Michelle said...


The new management didn't want or need you? Now I am convinced they are INSANE! I don't know of many other newspapers that would want to rid themselves of a respected, award-winning, first-class reporter. Redding's loss is South Dakota's gain.

Here's to a new chapter!

Anonymous said...

So, how did the first day of freedom feel? Unnerving isn't it? At least you have a gig you're going to. You'll do well and land on your feet.
See you in middle America!

Anonymous said...

Thom...Good Luck to you in your new gig.

I know those South Dakotans will love your stuff as much as we did here in Redding.

The Searching Redlite's loss is your gain dude.

Anonymous said...

I too enjoyed reading your outdoor columns and the news features as well, even though I'm not a hiker or biker and my favorite form of exercise is pulling weeds in my garden.

And I understand that the R-S has not been a healthy place for many this past year or so.

But sometimes the Universe opens doors that you just have to walk through. May you find your new gig to be the best thing that ever happened to you!

Please keep writing your blog so we know how it all turns out. And thanks, Thom.