I just did that one thing!
By RENEE WELLS
What a crazy wonderful ride this excursion has been. I have really had an adventure being the managing editor of the best weekly newspaper in the valley, Mini-Cassia’s premiere newspaper – The Voice.
If it sounds like I am writing in past tense, I guess I am.
This is the last Kaleidoscope that I will write as the managing editor of this paper. After attempting to do this three times previously, I am officially retiring on August 31.
You all know how that has gone in the past, so don’t hold your breath. You might see me floating around in various sundry places, but I am stepping back to take a breath and enjoy a little bit of life.
It is something I have been planning, looking forward to and anticipating with great excitement – yet with a little bit of a heavy heart, because, trust me, it is possible to feel both those emotions at the same time!
Three years ago, when Mike Ramsey approached me to be the managing editor of his weekly newspaper, I considered the offer with some trepidation.
I had been a reporter for 21 years, but I had never held a leadership role that would require me to keep myself, and others, on task in quite the way this position would necessitate. I had a less than desirable habit of working on the edge of deadline.
I have always believed I do a better job of writing stories if I wait until shortly before they are due. When working for the South Idaho Press several years ago, that was an easy thing to do, because sometimes I was working on three or four stories for the next edition, so I was pressed, challenged and even frenzied somewhat to get done before my deadline. The stress was like a shot of adrenaline to me, and I am an adrenaline junkie in the truest sense of the word.
When I was stepped into a weekly newspaper role, I found myself being somewhat lackadaisical about writing on schedule.
So, being the editor of this paper once again gave me the shot in the arm I craved and lived on. And it was a challenge I grew to love in just a matter of days.
I have loved everything – absolutely everything – about being the editor of the newspaper so many of you love.
I will miss the rush that comes with each compliment of a job well done. I will miss touching elbows with our local leaders and gathering the news. I will miss writing about community members – children and adults – who rise above themselves to come up with noble ideas to serve our community and their fellow man. I will miss the rush I have always had when I hear a siren and know there may be a story brewing. I will miss being just a bit of a bulldog when I talk with sources that are slow to share their knowledge about various incidents and issues.
I am ever so grateful that as The Voice has grown and grown up, it has enjoyed the popularity we hoped for. Oh, I am not so arrogant as to ever think or try to intimate that I pleased everyone. I did not. Or that I didn’t step on toes or create waves. I did. To be straight forward, that was part of the responsibility I believe was mine as the editor – stirring the pot.
Sometimes it was misconstrued and sometimes it was misdirected. For those times, I will accept my 50 lashes with a wet noodle. I like to think I taught the community a great deal from the right things I said and did and I know I learned a great deal myself from the not so right things I did.
I am leaving this position a much wiser, much greater person than I was coming in. While I tried to grow and learn, it was actually you, the Mini-Cassia Community, that helped me to be better than myself.
Some people said I shied away from politics and passions, from the drama, the hard facts that sometimes might have needed confronting. Sometimes I did, not because I was afraid of what they might create, but because I was determined to be a media source that people would enjoy and appreciate and not consider lacking in integrity.
When we started The Voice, the Mini-Cassia community had more than its share of negativity. I had no desire to be a part of that, but rather, I wanted to provide information and issues that would interject a breath of fresh air in the putrid politics playing out here at home.
Journalism is not something just anyone can jump into and become an instant success. While I do not believe I was a “natural,” I know I was fortunate to have some amazing mentors who helped me get off to a good start – that molded me into someone who was equal to the challenge. Even so, I could not have provided a quality product without the cooperation of my sources and my community. So to each of you, I say thank you for putting your trust in me. It has been an honor to serve you.
Last, but certainly not least, may I say thank you so very much to four people who have been amazing to work with.
I have said it from day one, and I’ll say it again…Michelle Campbell is magic. She is the glue that held us together. I so appreciate her patient indulgence with my inability to understand anything about the computer but a keyboard.
Sonya Moon has been ever so valuable in her effort and ability to, with Michelle, bring in the revenue we need to keep this paper alive and well…and it is.
Without my reporter Colt Crane, who I will always consider my sidekick, I could not have provided the news that we do. I hate to admit it, but I am the Grandma. I am slowing down and I am finding it less than enjoyable to chase down stories. My comfy white chair that sits in front of my computer has become more and more desirable. It’s time for me to pass it on to someone who can climb out of it a whole lot easier than I can and do.
And there is Mike Ramsey…yes, our owner and publisher Mike. What an amazing young man he is and what an honor it has been to work with and for him.
I will be straightforward in saying I did not always agree with Mike. But I will just as straightforward in saying, I have always respected him and admired and believed in his tenacity. He is what he is and there is no pretense and no guile in that young man. He is good – just plain good and I will miss his youthful exuberance and his alluring and energetic spirit.
The Voice is alive and well in Mini-Cassia. It will continue to bring you the quality local news you love and deserve and have come to expect.
And who knows, maybe from time to time, I will have to stick my head in the door and say a thing or two, just to tickle your fancy.
In the meantime, I’ll see you here and there…on the sidelines.
Thanks Mini-Cassia – thanks for everything.