“Here we are at last, dear friends, on the shores of the sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle Earth. Go in peace. I will not say ‘Do not weep,’ for not all tears are an evil.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, LOTR
I’m very bad with goodbyes and I normally do everything I can to avoid them.
After a career in journalism just a few months short of 40 years – over 13 of them here in Ashcroft, I have let my colleagues at The Journal know that I will be retiring. My last issue is Feb. 11.
This is a frantic profession. People call me “The Camera Lady” or “The Lady Who Takes Pictures for The Paper”, but that doesn’t come close to summing up the job of editor here. My camera is what they see and understand.
So much has changed in newspapers since 1977. Gone are the typewriters, the typesetters, the hot wax machine, the layout tables, the darkroom – and the newsroom filled with noisy telephones, typewriters and reporters.
It’s pretty quiet around The Journal these days, but that’s mostly because so much of our work is done on our computers. People walk in through the front door of our office and don’t realize that I’m at my desk around the corner in our one-woman newsroom.
It’s no exaggeration to say I spend at much time here as I do at home – ask Tool Man – and I’m going to miss being here.
When I was 13, I decided that I wanted to work on newspapers. I wanted to make a positive difference. From what people tell me and from my own observations, I know I’ve made a few of them over the past 40 years.
Retirement means I can relax while spending time doing the non-newspapery things that I love with the people I love. I don’t have to garden after I get home from work, I don’t have to sneak in little bits of quilting when I have a few spare minutes. I can take leisurely walks with my camera again.
I can also spend more time helping my towns in other ways now.
No, this isn’t goodbye. In fact, you may see more of me. I’m not going far.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal