Happy Trails, Part 139: The fun has no end

I discovered something quickly not long after my career in print journalism came to a screeching halt.

It was that separation anxiety from work is vastly overrated. I also discovered — if you’ll pardon the cliché — that when one door slams shut in your face other doors open widely.

My career as a full-time editorial writer and editor ended on Aug. 31, 2012. I was the “victim” of a changing media landscape. My wife and I departed that very day on a vacation on the East Coast.

We returned a couple of weeks later and opportunity knocked. Amarillo College’s public TV station, KACV, called me with the opportunity. Would I like to write a blog for the Panhandle PBS web site? Of course I would! So I did for a little more than year.

I was given the task of writing on public affairs programming that aired on KACV-TV. They would post it on the web site. The idea was to call attention to programming that discussed news of the day, or on prevailing public issues.

That job lasted a while. Changes at the station brought changes in philosophy and management style. We parted company.

Then another media opportunity came along. My wife and I ran into the general manager of KFDA News Channel 10. He asked me: Why don’t you write for us? I wasn’t sure that was a serious query. I called him later and asked him, “Was that a serious question?” He said it was. We worked out a deal later in the year and I was given the chance to write about “Whatever happened to …” stories that News Channel 10 had covered. That series of features morphed into another series telling the stories of all those historical markers one sees along the highways of West Texas.

Again, I wrote those features for the station’s web site. The news anchors would call attention to the stories on the air and reporters would provide a two-minute summary of the story during the station’s even news broadcasts.

Eventually, that gig played itself out, too.

Then came another media-related opportunity. A longtime friend and a former colleague offered me a chance to earn some scratch working from home. Would I be willing to edit the copy of a reporter who worked for the Quay County Sun, a weekly newspaper in Tucumcari, N.M.? I could do it from my home in Amarillo. I then could proof-read pages as they were assembled by the young man in Quay County.

What a blast that turned out to be as well! However, that chapter closed eventually, too.

Retirement, thus, hasn’t always been what it has become for my wife and me most recently. I spend my time these days writing this blog and commenting on things such as this post and — quite naturally — on issues of the day.

We have settled into a new life in Collin County. It’s a quiet life these days, although the pace is going to pick up soon as we prepare to move into a new home we are purchasing in a more rural part of the county. We get to spend more time with our granddaughter and we get to come and go as we please. Of course, there’s also travel in our RV that we have enjoyed and will enjoy in the future.

But . . . there well might be another media opportunity knocking. I mean, it’s what I do. Who knows what’s in store?

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