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Mark, Billie have the last word

Citizen Staff Writer



I can’t complain. It was a good run. There aren’t many people who have the opportunity to do what they truly love and to do it in one place for 34 years.

That’s how my career went at the Tucson Citizen – from Dec. 16, 1974, until May 15, 2009.

Some of you I will miss. Others, not so much.

At the top of the “miss” list are the people I work with. The job has been fun mostly because the people have been fun.

These pages wouldn’t be here without Billie Stanton. She’s to my right today, but in reality, she isn’t to the right of anyone. She’s impassioned and would right every wrong in the world if she had the time.

In the four months since we first were threatened with closure, we’ve know that there are a lot of people who care.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas was one of the first to call and say he was thinking of us. There also have been legislators and former legislators, City Council members and former council members and many others.

But what touched me most were the kind notes from those of you I have never met. Most offered words of support and said how much they will miss us.

Typical was a comment left online yesterday by a reader I know only as rubysky: “I hope the staffers are OK. These are our neighbors and fellow citizens.”

Others had different concerns.

I was slightly hurt when one caller was more concerned about Brenda Starr’s future than mine. How, the reader wondered, would she be able to keep up with the red-haired reporter?

I resisted telling her that Brenda was fictional and I was real and she should be a little more concerned about my future.

Oh, well. Good luck, Brenda.

I also won’t miss those people who have called or e-mailed almost every day over the past four months to point at something in the paper they didn’t like, saying, “This story is why you are closing.”

Some said it’s because we’re too liberal, some say it’s because we run too many conservative Cal Thomas screeds.

One even said we were gonna close because we ran a short story on Martha Stewart’s puppy being accidentally killed in a kennel.

I actually think the reasons were bigger than that, but who knows?

I also won’t miss the guy who called every Feb. 6 to castigate us for not running a front-page story reminding people it was Ronald Reagan’s birthday. And what would the second sentence of the story have been?

It’s been fun, this journalism business. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

Contact Mark Kimble at mskimble@cox.net.

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