Goodbye, amicos and amis
If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on, now,
Cause there's too many places I've got to see.
Ronnie Van Zant
I have dreaded this moment since the day I walked into the door of this three-story Romanesque revival building with elaborate brick ornamentation.
I had every intention of being here as long as possible but being my first job in the journalism field, I did not know how long it would last.
Now, more than three years later, I am saying goodbye.
Cleaning out my office this past weekend, I came to realize again why I choose this profession. Lining my cubicle were pictures I had taken during my first year on assignment here in Donaldsonville. I guess I had posted them to give myself a never-ending portrait of the city I was supposed to tell its story of.
But then I wondered why I had never replaced them with new, more current pictures. I like to think my work progressed as I went on but now I realize that telling Donaldsonville's story is a gift that is beautiful.
Those pictures may have not been the best but they told the story of the places that I had been to and seen. Not only that, they captured moments that will live on forever. And that perhaps makes it news.
The archived document of history that will live on forever.
As I began my journey in Donaldsonville, it became clear this city was like no other. Although born and raised right across the Mississippi River in Gonzales, it was clear Donaldsonville was one of a kind.
I found great pride in the way the Italian Society celebrated the St. Joseph's Altar.
I came to truly love the culture of the Juneteenth Festival.
I felt at home during the July 3rd Fireworks on the River.
And I was taken back to a simpler time at the Sunshine Festival.
Along the way I witnessed the city celebrate its 200th birthday and curiosity forced me to explore its bayou, the explanation of its origin.
I have come to appreciate the beauty of places of worship, no matter the creed.
But most importantly, I came believe we all have good intentions, foremost. That just makes sense and those are the best stories.
These stories are the ones I will take with me.
After three-plus years with the Chief, I am leaving to work for the Gonzales Weekly Citizen at their sports editor. It is an opportunity both professionally and personally that I feel I cannot turn down.
Journalism is all about building relationships with people so that they will allow you to tell their story and that is what I will miss the most. The characters in my life who have become my friends.
Some of my fondest memories will always be sports related.
The awestruck of the basketball arena. The excitement of center court volleyball. The atmosphere of a river football playoff game. The jubilation of the baseball underdog rally. The suspense of the relay exchange. The lay up off a steal. The power sweep or option reverse. The greeting after a home run. The converging tackle. A play at the plate. The kill. A 3-pointer.
Donaldsonville and Ascension Catholic have provided me with many memories of these and so much more. There are those who treasured my dedication and I am grateful for them.
Thanks to all of you, our readers. Yes, people do read the Chief and have been for over 130 years. It is my sincere hope that through these years, you have enjoyed a quality publication that informed and entertained you.
Like my predecessor wrote in his final column, "Any editor of The Chief is just a caretaker for a while. This little paper has a life of its own. There will always be a Chief and Donaldsonville is lucky for it."
I love the city of Donaldsonville and will miss it but this is an opportunity I can't pass up. I mean, to cover sports in your hometown. Who wouldn't want that for their job.
As I leave I just have to convince myself I want to go.
I said I don't know whether
I'm the boxer or the bag
Oh yeah, can you see them, out on the porch?
But they don't wave
I see them round the front way, yeah
And I know, and I know I don't want to stay