In last week’s editorial your editor announced plans to retire as of May 29.
The response from readers has been overwhelming and gratifying.
Dozens of people have come up to me to offer congratulations and best wishes.
The editorial was posted online on Thursday. By Sunday evening 10 people had written favorable comments on the Times’ website, including former MLA Kevin Krueger, former Weyerhaeuser-Vavenby manager Dave Hay, and Thompson Rivers University dean of science Tom Dickinson (see screenshot at right).
On the Clearwater Times’ Facebook page there were 35 comments, all of them complimentary, plus 77 emoticons.
On the Facebook pages of Clearwater Infoboard, Vavenby Infoboard, Blue River Classifieds and Little Fort Infoboard there were another 35 comments, again all complimentary, plus about 100 emoticons.
One person in a comment suggested that your editor be given a float to ride in the May Day parade while another told me that someone should put on a party for me at the ski hill.
Please don’t do anything of the kind. I am pretty extreme on the introverted scale and am not exactly a party animal.
Although I appreciate all the compliments, I doubt I would enjoy being the centre of attention in that way.
Being the editor of a small town newspaper, you are not going to please everyone all of the time. In fact, in this position, if everyone likes you all of the time then you are not really doing your job.
Looking at the compliments, I could not help but notice that a few of them came from people who are not, shall we say, members of the Keith McNeill Fan Club. Their comments are doubly appreciated.
To clarify my plans a bit for those interested, although I plan to retire from the position of Times editor, I do not see myself not working.
After a bit of travel and reflection, I hope to find a job that does not have the sort of deadline pressure that this one does. Quite frankly, I’m getting too old for that.
My plans also include completing that book I’ve always been meaning to write.
Life often does not seem fair. My plans certainly did not include becoming the editor of a small town newspaper but, looking back now, I don’t know whether my life would have been happier or more fulfilling if had gone the way I had anticipated when I was younger.
Certainly there have been frustrations and difficulties but, overall, I like to think that I have made a positive difference to a community I care for.
When I first came to Clearwater I had, as I recall, $50 in my pocket. I was even on welfare for a month.
I lived near Raft River and, with no vehicle, needed to hitchhike everywhere. Again, as I recall, I almost never had to walk more than one or two hundred meters before someone would stop to pick me up – even if I did not have my thumb out.
I came to the conclusion that there are some pretty nice people living around here – people who, if you’re trying to make a go of it, are happy to meet you more than halfway.
Clearwater and the North Thompson Valley face some major challenges in the years to come.
If we can keep that same community spirit, there is a good chance we will survive and overcome.