I hate change.
If you ask my parents or sister, they’ll tell you how much of a pain it is for me to adjust to something different in my life.
In the 14 years I’ve been at the St. Joseph News-Press, I’ve seen so much change, from the way people consume entertainment to how they read local news.
I’ve seen generations of colleagues come and go. I’ve watched bands go from playing empty bars to getting signed to major record labels. I’ve seen Downtown transform in dramatically positive ways.
This is all to say that as much I hate change, it’s necessary for things to move forward.
This column marks a big change for me. It will be my last for the St. Joseph News-Press. While it’s sad to leave this place, it’s also a good thing. I’m in need of change in my life and want to take a new step in my career.
During the past year, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. Recently, I went through a lot of old St. Joe Live articles. The stuff I didn’t like that I wrote when I first started, turns out I view it in a more positive light. Some of the stuff I was proud of at the time — well, that can be buried in the News-Press archives.
While most people that recognize me call me “The Movie Guy,” my greatest honor and joy was telling the stories of people in St. Joe, whether it was summarizing someone’s life or shining a spotlight on art in its many forms in the area.
While outsiders may underestimate St. Joe, I’ll always argue that what we have here is very special. We have incredibly talented, passionate people who are willing to make and fight for the arts in St. Joseph. To be able to tell people about them on weekly basis — what a privilege.
As I write this last part, pretend like I’m holding an award and I’m looking tearfully out in the distance:
I want to thank all of the past St. Joe Live/Off Hours staff and their heart for local art and nightlife for making this happen in the first place. Big thanks to my former St. Joe Live cohort Shea Conner for all of his help and the endless hours we spent talking pop culture. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to St. Joseph News-Press and St. Joe Live managing editor Jess DeHaven for her patience and guidance. And of course, the copy editors and designers that helped put this together for my run as a St. Joe Live reporter — they’re the true unsung heroes.
Thank you for reading and being a part of this journey. Whether my stories enlightened you or my opinions enraged you, I’m glad we got to spend some time together every week.
My Grandpa Sarver, a newspaper guy in Akron, Ohio, used to end all of our family visits with a phrase and I think I’ll end my time here with it too: Thank you and I’ll see you in the funny papers.
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