Back on May 3, West Liberty Index Publisher Jake Krob and I met over iced tea at Ron De Voo Park.
He needed an editor — or at least someone who could help put out the newspaper while he searched for an editor.
I needed something to do after my old job as editor of the Muscatine Journal had been eliminated in February and combined by my old boss into his job. It was a cost-cutting move, he said as he showed me the door. Nothing personal.
Krob knew all of this after following my Twitter feed and reading this blog. He called. And I listened.
We quickly agreed that I would take on the editor’s job for maybe even a few months. I would stay however long he needed to find someone to permanently fill the chair or that I needed to find another job in Muscatine, a place I regard as home and don’t want to leave.
Sadly — for me, at least, but not for the Index — Krob found success in his search sooner than I did. Jesse Mullen came on board this week to become the new Index editor.
You will get to know more about Mullen in the weeks to come, but I can tell you this much: Based on what I’ve seen so far, I would try to hire him if I still edited a daily newspaper.
Of course, the Index isn’t big enough for both of us, so I will be leaving soon. And that saddens me more than I would have guessed back in May that it would.
Everyone I’ve met during my stint here has been very nice and complimentary. It’s clear people in West Liberty care about the Index and want it to succeed. Knowing that makes it hard to leave.
Of course, not knowing what awaits me is also a factor in my apprehension. The two months I didn’t work before coming on board here was the longest length of time I had ever been unemployed. Being out of work is a bad thing. It’s not something I want to continue forever.
But all good things must come to an end. After 23 years in newsrooms, I think that’s what my heart is saying about my newspaper career. I just haven’t figured out yet what I’m supposed to do next.
One thing is for sure: As I evolve into whatever I am supposed to become other than a newspaper editor, I will fondly remember my last stop in that old career. The Index has been good for me. I hope I’ve been half as good for the newspaper.
A little bit about nothing: For anyone who might be wondering, I wrote this as a column this week for the West Liberty Index. For anyone who has read this far, I guess the good news may be that I will likely have more time to post stuff here in the coming weeks.
Doctor, my eyes: Finishing up today with some Jackson Brown in recognition of the fact that I can see better. After a way overdue eye exam yesterday, I have some new contact lenses, which make it MUCH easier to see the tiny type when I tweet and text on my iPhone. This may not be a good thing.
I took the photo above to show I’m not wearing my old Coke-bottle glasses today. Clearly, however, I should have shaved before coming to work this morning.