After more than five years at the Tucson Citizen, I still feel like the new kid on the block.
Some of our core content creators – the “deciders” – have been here three decades or more, and their institutional memory and regional knowledge have served this community very well indeed.
You know that guy to my left here, the Micky Mouse afficionado of “Arizona Illustrated” fame.
Mark Kimble and I have kitty-corner offices behind the newsroom, where we call out questions and quips without leaving our seats.
We’ve entertained and irritated one another repeatedly, but he steadfastly has defended me against the savages, and our teamwork has been a blast.
Kimble has been a good boss. He’s been an even better journalist. He came to the Tucson Citizen 34 years ago, and we all know the Citizen wouldn’t have made it this far without his wit and wisdom.
This Little Afternoon Daily That Could likewise would have derailed long ago if not for two men working in relative obscurity.
Joel Rochon got here 36 years ago, and I’ve long regarded him as the real brains behind this operation. (If only Gannett would have listened!)
Joel is a brilliant and talented artist and designer, an expert with technology, a supplies and budgeting guru, a visionary about the newspaper business and a people person who wisely dispenses free chocolate with encouragement and support.
I love him to pieces.
Paul Schwalbach can put panache on the most pedantic prose. With two big words and a carefully chosen photo or two, he’ll put a full page into focus.
But that’s just the technical stuff. He’s also a highly sophisticated political and social observer and one of the funniest, warmest human beings with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. (Scarecrow, I think I’ll miss you most of all.)
These three astute editors are the unheralded infrastructure of the Tucson Citizen.
Thanks to them, I’ve been free to lambaste violent racists, skewer mean-spirited conservatives, cheer on the No More Deaths crowd, support and honor our veterans, promote the public school system that makes our democratic society possible, push for the election of President Obama and, in general, annoy a whole lot of nattering nabobs of negativism. (Sorry, Spiro.)
This puts the period on my 30-year career. Most of it was spent in Colorado and Florida, but I started at the Arizona Daily Wildcat, so it’s appropriate that it ends in Tucson, too.
I’ve enjoyed making a contribution here, but others have committed their entire professional lives to this paper. I salute them. And to all you faithful readers, thank you.
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