This is my last column. It closes out a 60 year career for me, and is also the official end of this newspaper.
It has served the Mount Olive and surrounding area since 1904.
I have been writing this column since the mid 1970’s.
It is a bittersweet arrival for me, but I had intended to retire at the end of this month anyway.
It has been a good, but sometimes bumpy journey, and one that introduced me to some good and some bad people.
The worst kind of folks you will ever meet in the journalism profession are elected officials, particularly lifetime politicians, who have bellied up to the public trough and got fat in the pocketbook and the waistline.
There are more who focus on doing what is right, and they represent their constituency for what is best instead of furthering their personal agenda.
Community print journalism is as much of our country’s Democratic foundation as the First Amendment of free speech.
But, it has all transitioned into the electronic media and the social media.
Unless there is some strict accountability, I see it as a major threat to our way of life.
Accuracy, fairness, honesty, and accountability appear to be pushed aside.
Someone has to objectively watchdog those elected who have and are running rampant in lining their pocketbook.
There must be some accountability and complete transparency in government from the local to the national levels.
Newspapers across the country are closing, and those of us who spent their careers behind a typewriter or computer are appalled at the change.
We have finally arrived at the borders of where the pretty people play.
I suppose all the gold in California is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills in somebody else’s name.
As this nation sits on the brink of another birthday, we have seen another freedom snatched away from us under the disguise of progress.
It leaves those in the electronic media to carry the torch and watchdog it all.
Let’s just sit back and watch the pretty people play and fight to further their agendas.
I certainly am not bitter at the closing of my long career, and look forward to it in the days to come.
The timing of ending my career and the Tribune closing its doors could not have been a more bittersweet and ironic occurrence.
It is a closing out of making memories for me.
Hopefully, the best of times are not really over for good.
Bless each of you in the days ahead, and thanks for putting up with me over the many years.