OldArchive / Sports

The End Zone Seat: Change is Life's One Constant

Change is constant in the newspaper business.

At both the daily newspapers I've worked for, the employee turnover was breathtaking at times.

When I worked in Wilkes-Barre, the newspaper chain that owned us was in desperate financial straits because the dot.com financial crisis in the late 90s seriously affected the bottom line at the flagship publication in Silicon Valley.

There were times when going to work felt like walking into the barracks of a Soviet gulag. One day someone would be working across from you and the next he or she would be gone with only the explanation that the paper was "right-sizing."

It was a similar situation at the other paper I worked. So many people came and went in the advertising department that I gave up trying to learn their names because they weren't there long enough to have a second conversation with them.

But since I've been working for the Rocket-Courier, the core group has been stable.

That's what makes this week's issue a special one.

As you know by now, Wes is moving on to other pursuits and challenges.

Now, contrary to certain lines of thinking, change can be a good thing.

If it weren't for change, we'd still be hanging around caves in animal skins, and I certainly wouldn't be typing this story on this new-fangled machine they call a computer.

When I was still working on the family farm, I remember an old clipping that was tacked up in the office of Ivan Hugo's feed mill in New Albany.

"Hail the turtle!" it proclaimed. "He progresses by sticking his neck out."

If you think about it, that's a great way to look at things.

I'm sure Wes will be successful in his new endeavors, and I wish him the best of luck.

Sure, I'll miss our discussions from sports to politics and everything else in between and his off-beat sense of humor that often brightened a day.

Often, when a veteran reporter leaves, a certain amount of institutional memory goes with him or her. It's the veterans who remember that someone was the county coroner or commissioner 30 or 40 years ago when his obituary crosses the desk or that there was also a tragic accident 15 years ago on a particular stretch of road.

Luckily, there are still enough of us old-timers here to keep that institutional memory alive.

I've learned that no one is irreplaceable.

This old world has turned over millions of times and people have come and gone and somehow, despite our best efforts otherwise, mankind has continued to move forward.

As we say goodbye to one colleague, we welcome another—Rick Hiduk.

Hopefully, our readers will welcome him aboard and embrace his reporting the same as they have Wes's through the years.

To Wes, happy trails, amigo. We'll see you around.

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