It’s hard to believe that more than 27 years have passed since I walked into the Tucson Citizen newsroom.
I clearly remember that day. It was like walking into the land of giants, because everyone was about 2 feet taller than me. The office was noisy and smoky and everyone was running around like a chicken without a head.
I was terrified and just wanted to turn around and go home. But I’m glad I didn’t because my world changed forever on that day. I was exposed to a very different breed of people and new attitudes.
There was never a dull moment working at the Citizen. Every day provided something different: breaking news stories of killings, bomb threats, serial killers, earthquakes, and a shuttle explosion. Nowadays, the newsroom is not as noisy or smoky and no one’s running around like a chicken without a head. It’s a different Citizen now, with mostly everyone chained to their desks.
But that feeling of terror I experienced my first day has returned, and it’s even stronger. My Citizen is closing its doors and there’s nothing that can be done about it.
With it go my feelings of stability, my meaningful work, and most of all, my great, caring friends. I will miss talking to the people in the community, getting information about everything happening in Tucson – from gallery openings, to fiestas, movies, book signings, and family-friendly events.
I will miss talking to co-workers Rogelio, Gaby, Polly and Chuck about the best dishes in town, the newest films, the best CDs and everything else going on in our lives. I will also miss my weekly discussions with Jennifer and Teresa about television shows, including “Lost,” “24,” “Bones,” “House,” “Damages,” and “Life on Mars.” Our little get-togethers started when we discovered we were all huge fans of Joss Whedon’s teen dramas, “Buffy” and “Angel.” I wouldn’t had been able to keep with all those shows if it wasn’t for Señor Dave Petruska, one of the sweetest persons in the Citizen. Year after year, he kept me up to date by recording some of my favorite shows.
Throughout my roller coaster of a life the Citizen was the only constant. No matter what happened, I found refuge in my work and colleagues.
I will miss working at the Citizen. It was more than just a job. It was a huge, caring family. Adios, mis amigos.