It was good while it lasted — and in this case, we’re talking 27 years.
As some of you may have heard by now, last Friday (March 6) was my last day at the Kelowna Capital News.
It was not my choice to leave and my departure was a tad more abrupt than I would have liked, but, hey, that’s life. As I always say, there’s always somebody who carries a bigger stick.
So onward and upward. Isn’t there something about doors closing and doors opening? Guess I’ll have to start turning a few door handles.
I have no plans to leave town — just find a new job or win the lottery. The latter is my preference. But what comes next, I guess, time will tell.
I wanted to use this last column to thank everyone who I worked with over the years at the Capital News, as well those in the community who I wrote about, those who helped me do my job and who talked to me (willingly or not), those who I crossed paths with both as a reporter for 26 years with the newspaper and as a regional editor with Black Press for the last year.
Thanks to the nice folks, as well as the not-so nice ones, the people whose stories touched me, and the people who read what I wrote and were touched too — or at least thought about whatever it was I was writing about.
As I told my (now former) colleagues in the newsroom, the media business is all about people and relationships. It’s people who make any workplace not only work, but over time, and for those lucky enough to hang around for a while, a home.
In my case, the folks at the Capital New really are like family to me. My time at the paper encompassed many personal, as well as professional, milestones — I started at 29 and left at 56, I got married (and divorced) while working there, I had a daughter, who has grown into a beautiful, talented, intelligent, caring young woman while I was there.
I lost one parent (as well as a dog, a cat and a bird) and watched another age gracefully into her 90s (even if she now can’t remember where she put her keys).
I moved into houses that became homes, I made friends and lost friends (literally and figuratively), I did smart things and more than my share of dumb stuff. I got older, fatter, greyer and lost a whole lot of hair.
And through it all, my colleagues — some of whom were there before me, many of whom have since moved on, and even the newcomers helped me through it all.
I figure I spent more time with them than I did with own family. Hey, maybe that’s why I’m divorced! Just kidding.
But most of all, during my time at the Capital News I got to be what I wanted to be as far back as I remember — to be reporter. It was a privilege to have a front seat for the history of this community to tell the public about it. And, it was the people who made the difference.
I tried my best to inform and I even threw in my two cents worth from time to time. I tried to show I care. To me, caring about others is greatest trait we can strive for.
I’ll let others decide if I was successful. So, in the end, this is not goodbye, just the end of a rather lengthy chapter in the ongoing Book of Al.
It’s my way of saying thank you to a community that has been my home for the last 27 years.
So, onto the next chapter, whatever that may be. I’ll see you bright and cheery at the next gig.